Sunday, December 08, 2013

JFF 2013: A Story of Yonosuke and The Great Passage


As the title suggests its the story of Yokomichi Yonosuke (Kora Kengo), this earnest, carefree and awkward university student from Kyushu and the various people he had an impact on during his uni days. He is, as Yoshitaka Yuriko's character Shoko puts it,


- Kora Kengo not playing a serial killer for once.
- Awesome cast and acting. Yoshitaka Yuriko, Ito Ayumi, Ayano Gou and Asakura Aki. Kora Kengo really becomes Yonosuke through his posture, awkward mannerisms and very obvious facial expression. Very different from his usual characters.
- Yoshitaka Yuriko as the truly kawaii and pure ojousan. Moe~~~~~~
- Pretty funny movie.
- Did I mention Yoshitaka Yuriko is so cute?
- Ito Ayumi as the mysterious older woman.


- There wasn't really a conclusion or a point to the story for me.  Its like the movie is saying Yonosuke had a positive influence on all these people's lives and that's it.


Enjoyable but forgettable.


I actually fell asleep and missed the showing. Luckily I already had the 8thsin subbed version. At least I already bought the tickets to clear what little there is left of my conscience. The Great Passage reminds me of one of the reasons why I started watching jdoramas in the first place; when they take a seemingly menial job and show you how difficult and important it is and in this movie's case its the making of a dictionary.

Its not something that I think about though I use Japanese to English dictionaries on a daily basis and there are a bunch of mistakes and explanations can be a bit vague and I have trouble discerning multiple words with the same meaning. The most striking thing from The Great Passage is how difficult it is and how much time it takes to compile and edit a dictionary, especially one on paper where you can update or correct it. Not to mention the ever changing Japanese language and slangs that continue to pop up.

Don't need to rave about the steller cast as you can already see it from the poster. The Great Passage is a great feel good, crowd pleasing movie about the unappreciated department of a publishing company that never gets oversentimental. A must watch movie.

So ends the Japanese Film Festival for me and I'm going to get Library Wars from the interwebs. My only regret is not watching Summer's End instead of The Apology King. Mitsushima Hikari, I'm sorry for choosing Abe Sadao over you. :( Hope Summer's End shows up online soon. Ayano Gou and Namakemono-san who are in Summer's End are in the two movies I watched today. Thanks to the JFF people for organising such a great line up. The only other movie on my list to watch is Koreeda's Like Father, Like Son.


OMFG. The director of The Ravine of Goodbye in a WOWOW series with Arata and Matsushima Hikari!!! Not familiar with the main actress Sakai Maki. Looks like she was in Big Wing but I've exorcised all memory of that horrible dorama from my memory. Looks like its hasn't been torrented at d-addicts yet.


Anonymous said...

Rootabega sez:
Mike, that WOWOW dorama, Kanata no Ko, is helmed by Omori Nao's bro, Tatsushi Nao. I'd say it's on the must-watch list. The soundtrack by Mono should be sweet, too.
You've totally sold me on the Yonosuke movie. Kora Kengo playing against type? (He's technically playing against type and being as boring as hell about it in cheapie keiji/idiot savant dorama, Hard Nut. Ayano Go not sucking? Yess! Best part of all for a horrible film snob like me - an inexact ending;))).
Am heading off to check this movie out...

Anonymous said...

RB again:
Did I say Tatsushi Nao? Ugh, I meant Omori Tatsushi.

Antspace said...

Having just seen The Great Passage, I couldn't agree more: must watch! It's such a quiet humble movie. Happy to see Matsuda Ryuhei doing so well in this. Miyazaki san is amazing as always. All of the cast is marvelous indeed. As is the direction. Even with the slow pace, the movie never drags. It made me realise the amount of work that goes into making a dictionary. Something I never spent one thought on in my entire life. It seems impossible to make an exciting movie on a story like this, but this is the proof it can be done.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Kora Kengo lol. It's time to break the typecast when viewers' reaction is "wow, he didn't viciously murder someone!" Good writeup :)