Your Lie in April (2016)

CpJCR5WVMAA6Zwk.jpg-large

This Japanese drama film is about Kosei Arima, a piano prodigy who, after his mother died suffered from psychological trauma caused him to be unable to hear the sound of his piano playing, and he gave up on it until he met Kaori Miyazono, an extrovert, free-spirited violinist who changed his life drastically. Together with Kosei’s friends Tsubaki and Watari, they tried to convince him to play again. Now, I’m not going to tell the whole story because if you haven’t watched the movie, I will just annoy you by telling it here. But if you’re currently in a melancholic situation and want to watch this, may I suggest you to keep a box of tissues near by :)

Well, I must say that the story kind of relates to me as in being too nervous to perform that I can’t even hear my own violin playing during performance. This is why I’m not able to be a soloist. And oh….I will never be because I want to save you from the noise and chaos that I make ;)

And this paragraph is for violinists. I may have to alert you that although the violinist’s bowing technique in this film is horrible, let’s just capture the whole message that the story offers. I like Kaori’s optimist personality. She’s the one who could inspire people to go out of the box, to do what we’ve been wanting to.

This story can relate to the life of many musicians whether you’re a modern music performer, or classical, or both. Although the story sounds kind of boring and predictable if I tell you briefly about what it’s all about because I don’t want to tell a complete story, but the advices given are such a great inspiration. I recommend this drama if you like Japanese. This film is taken from a Japanese manga book authored by Naoshi Arakawa.

The Red Violin (1998)

In present day Montreal, a famous Nicolo Bussotti violin, known as “the red violin,” is being auctioned off. During the auction, we flash back to the creation of the violin in 17th century Italy, and follow the violin as it makes its way through an 18th century Austrian monastery, a violinist in 19th century Oxford, China during the Cultural Revolution, and back to Montreal, where a collector tries to establish the identity and the secrets of “the red violin.”

The movie is spoken in English, Italian, French, German, and Mandarin. This is an interesting movie, especially if you love violin, or better enough, play violin! ;-)

However, there’s no subtitle when I watched this, but I understood the story. Back in 1681 — Cremona, Nicolo Bussotti just finished his master work when his wife was pregnant. She told him that she felt that she wouldn’t live that long, but he was so optimist and said he had a good relatives that could help her. But she and their first child died at the time she was giving birth. Nicolo took her body to his workplace, cut her hair to make a brush out of it, cut her hand and poured her blood in a can and then he painted his violin with her blood.

CAST
Cremona

* Carlo Cecchi – Nicolo Bussotti
* Irene Grazioli – Anna Rudolfi Bussotti
* Anita Laurenzi – Cesca
* Samuele Amighetti – Boy

Vienna

* Christoph Koncz – Kaspar Weiss
* Jean-Luc Bideau – Georges Poussin
* Arthur Denberg – Prince Mansfeld

Oxford

* Jason Flemyng – Frederick Pope
* Greta Scacchi – Victoria Byrd
* Eva Marie Bryer – Sara
* Joshua Bell – Orchestra member: First violin (cameo)

Shanghai

* Sylvia Chang – Xiang Pei
* Hong Tao – Comrade Chan Gong
* Liu Zifeng – Chou Yuan

Montreal

* Samuel L. Jackson – Charles Morritz
* Colm Feore – Auctioneer
* Monique Mercure – Madame Leroux
* Don McKellar – Evan Williams
* Ireneusz Bogajewicz – Ruselsky
* Julian Richings – Nicolas Olsberg
* Marvin Mill – Limousine Driver
* Sandra Oh – Madame Ming, companion of Chinese son who was trying to win the auction of the red violin
* Rémy Girard – Customs Agent

============================================================
Personal review:
This movie is incredible! It made me think who have been the owners of my current violin, knowing that it’s made in 1890 and is obviously not new. There are flaws of use here and there. This movie inspired me to pick up my violin and play. I even paused it, took a break and played my violin for about half hour. I believe that there are ex-violinists who picked up their violins again after watching this movie.

I don’t like Frederick Pope (Flemyng). He’s ugly, but acted like he’s the most coolest and handsome guy! And sex is his inspiration and without it he couldn’t play violin passionately. I really pity that they’ve chosen that ugly Flemyng to be Frederick Pope.

============================================================

SPOILER ALERT! HAVEN’T WATCHED THE MOVIE? DON’T READ THE TEXTS BELOW!

Continue reading “The Red Violin (1998)”

Fingersmith (2005)

Fingersmith is a BBC mini-series that was televised in 2005, which is an adaptation of Sarah Water’s novel, who’s also the author of Tipping the Velvet.

The lives of two young women collide in Victorian England when a trio of ‘fingersmiths’ (pick-pockets) concoct an elaborate scam to defraud a young heiress of her inheritance. The story alternates between the twisting back alleyways of Dickensian London and the cloistered gloom of a Gothic mansion in 1862.

Cast:
Sally Hawkins as Sue Trinder
Elaine Cassidy as Maud Lily
Imelda Staunton as Mrs. Sucksby
Rupert Evans as Richard ‘Gentleman’ Rivers
Charles Dance as Uncle Lilly

Sue Trinder is a Fingersmith (British slang for thief) who lives at Lant street in London with Mrs. Sucksby, a woman who looks after unwanted babies and orphans.

Maud Lily is raised by the nurses in the mental asylum where her mother died. When she was 11, her uncle brought her to Briar to be his secretary. She has to wear gloves to preserve the surfaces of the books she is working on.

Richard Rivers aka Gentleman has befriended a young lady, Maud who is going to inherit a great fortune when she marries. But Richard’s access to Maud is very limited because of her uncle and hence he wants Sue to be accepted as her new maid. Sue’s task is to gain Maud’s trust and to persuade her to marry him. Richard told Sue that after he married Maud, he’ll have her committed to a mental asylum and he’ll take her fortune.

I like Tipping the Velvet better than this. I still question where her uncle was after she got married. It didn’t tell me that he died, or something. He disappeared without reason. Sarah Waters storyline (always) includes poverty, judging from the previous novel she has written, Tipping the Velvet. If you’ve read or watched it, you’ll know what I meant (if you haven’t watched Tipping the Velvet, I may as well tell the storyline and review it).

Watching these mini-series made me think of the life of a lady in the Victorian time. Were the ladies really being treated like how Sue has treated Maud?

Sue is an orphan, Maud is raised by the nurse at mental asylum where her mother died. They’re actually switched at birth, which also means that Maud’s real name is Sue Trinder and Sue’s name is Maud Lily?!?

What touched me the most is when Mrs. Sucksby confessed to the murder she didn’t commit as she felt guilty for how she has deceived the two girls. While Maud was the one who killed Richard. Maud said she killed him, but they didn’t believe it because she’s a lady. Mrs. Sucksby was the only one who could tell the truth, but she refused.

Nana (2007)

I was bored today and thought to rewatch Nana and Nana 2 (you can watch it online).

Two girls, both named Nana and of the same age, coincidentally meet on a train trip to Tokyo. They soon find themselves living with each other under the same roof because of an even bigger coincidence. Even though they share the same name and age, they differ in just about everything else. Even so, through hard experiences in love and life, a strong friendship is born between them, as both Nana’s grow through their hardships and struggle to win the odds.

I heart this movie! I see two Nana’s, but I also noticed two goths together. Nana (Hachiko) being gothic lolita and the other Nana being punk goth.

Nana (Hachiko) is a naive, fragile girl who easily gets excited in almost everything. She’s also a diligent girl who migrated from a small town to Tokyo because her boyfriend lived there. She, according to me, also can fall in love easily. After getting dumped by her previous boyfriend, she met Takumi, the bassist of TRAPNEST band and obviously fell in love with him as she’s been his fan. She tried to hide her relationship from her roommate Nana and her band BLAST (Black Stones) even though they knew about it. Nevertheless, Nobu who fell in love with her confessed his feelings for her. And then? She fell in love with Nobu, too.

Nana (Black Stones) earns money by singing. She takes pride more important than love. She’s rude, doesn’t talk much about herself, trying her best to bury her feelings for Ren.

– Hachiko’s a girl who doesn’t seem to have her own opinion while Nana knows what she wants, and has her own opinions. (Like, Nana telling her that she behaved like a dog. Uhmm well….I think she’s right! *winks*)
– Hachiko gets easily excited in almost everything while Nana rarely smiles. (I don’t even know if I can survive living with a roommate who screams like that when getting excited!)
– Hachiko got 2 ex boyfriends while Nana only has one, from the beginning till the end.
– Hachiko is a polite girl while Nana is rude.
– Hachiko has had shit jobs while Nana does what she likes: singing.
– Hachiko is very good at cooking, Nana? I haven’t seen her cooking :p
– Hachiko is very sweet and a type of friend who’s there for you (proof: she cooked a lot only to find out that Nana couldn’t even come home that night).

I like the movie, it’s so touching! What I dislike is the songs!

But if I may choose which Nana I prefer to be, I choose Nana, the singer of Black Stones.

P.S: if you’re gonna tell me that you like the manga version more, I tell you: I don’t like manga.

Wuthering Heights

Who doesn’t know this wonderful written, classic movie/book? Emily Bronte is such a brilliant and legendary writer! I’m not going to review about the story itself, but to compare the 1978 edition of BBC and 2009.

I personally like the 2009 one because, not only Heathcliff (Tom Hardy) looks better, he also fits more into the story, and so does Catherine, who’s played by Charlotte Riley.

And here’s the 1978 one (well hmmm…..expect Mr. Presley’s style here in a 18th century scene):

Ken Hutchinson as Heathcliff and Kay Adshead as Cathy.

I don’t like the 1978 version because I see Mr. Presley’s style in Heathcliff (the beard) mixed The Beatles (hair). Seeing that it’s made in 1978, IMHO, people might have been inspired by current fashion style, but didn’t realize that it’s an 18th century scene.

Now, look at Cathy. Her face doesn’t fit her character because she’s supposed to be a very young lady, but has a face of 35+ yo woman. So when I heard her voice I heard a teenager voice in a body of 35+ yo woman. Plus, this Cathy behaved more stubborn and immature.

One of the scenes I don’t like from this version is when Cathy busted Heathcliff being with Isabella, she busted him in the garden acting weirdly with Isabella (by weirdly I meant they seemed to be making love in a garden).

The 2009 version is more touching, the first scene of seeing lady ghost begging to get in seems more mysterious. Heathcliff also has a mysterious looks. In this version, Cathy didn’t grossly bust him being with Isabella. Cathy also behaved a bit more mature.