Under The Hawthorn Tree – Review

In the period of Cultural Revolution in China [60s-70s] life would much depend on the economical virtues. Families would be banished because of the political point of views, the communism would teach people to fear the superiors and the young population would have to struggle to built their future.

With her dad being held in a political prison and her mother being sick, Jing has to endures a lot til she accomplishes the goal of becoming a teacher. Things get complicated after she takes a trip to the countryside to get experience for elaborating an essay regarding the Communist values of their country. She gets familiar with the Hawthorn Tree and its legends – and based on this story she will begin writing propaganda essays.

The one who enjoys her artistic side is Sun, a member of the local geological unit. Romance is like two seconds away.

The months that follow – Sun is watching over Jing who has to return to the city, in order to fulfill her duties. The two of them are from very different economical backgrounds – so Sun helps her with anything he can.

Being in love means also neglecting things – so Jing’s mother finally finds out about their relationship. The romantic story becomes a drama when these two young lovers have to stay away from each other because of the political and social conflicts that could be generated.

The sad ending is inevitable after Jing has knowledge of Sun having leukemia. A beautiful story with a tragic end. Does someone deserve this? I think you know the answer.

Under The Hawthorn Tree is the best Chinese drama I’ve seen this year. Recommended for both its cultural and romantic side.

Where’s the light

Waiting in the Dark

waiting-in-the-darkWaiting in the Dark Poster

Year: 2006

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Country: Japan

Plot: Michiru Honma (Rena Tanaka) lost her sight in an accident. When her only support, her father, dies, she decides to live alone at her house. One day, when she was listening to the noise outside, there is an incident. One man is hit by a train. Suicide, murder, nobody knows for sure. When the police investigates this, they say that it was a murder and the responsible for this ran away.

This is how the so called guilty man ends up hiding in Michiru’s place. Is he really the murderer, what’s his side of story?

The movie shows us how people got connected after a series of unfortunate events. Also there are various scenes depicting the struggle of the blind people to get on with their lives.

Directed by: Daisuke Tengan

My comments: Well, I was impressed to see that some japanese movies are just exceptional. And I think about this after seeing how thay can re-create some person’s drama. Michiru is blind because she was hit by a car. Day by day, her sight became darker and darker, till she couldn’t see anymore. Her mother, from what the producer tells us, left her family a while ago. She lives only with her father. When he dies, Michiru’s life changes. She stays day after day, home alone, doing almost nothing but sleeping, eating and playing the piano. But soon all these will change, when she realises that someone is in her house.

She senses that he is not a bad person, so she doesn’t freak out. In the end the two of them approach and she will find the truth, even if it hurts. And yeah, she got hurt.

On the other hand, the movie presents her relation-ship with the others. Some of them are well-intentioned, others make her life complicated.

And to end with my favourite scene. I loved the atmosphere at he funeral and the colours used for this scene. Raining, lots of black and an interesting scene with Michiru’s mother standing in the train station but not coming to the funeral.

Koizora-The Movie

Koizora [Sky of Love] is a japanese romantic drama, based on a novel presenting true facts.

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There are not many movies that could make a man cry right? But this one is an exception. A true love story with both joy and sadness. It was my third japanese movie in two days and I’m so glad I’ve watched it. An interesting plot and remarcable characters.

Directed by Natsuki Imai, this movie is showing us a highschool love relationship between Mika Tahara [Yui Aragaki] and Hiro Sakurai [Haruma Miura]. It’s just another baby-love until the problems start to appear. First a baby, a family problem then the cancer. I’ll not give any more details to ruin your pleasure of watching it. And trust me, I think this is a “must see” in one’s life-time. The acting is great, the turn of events keeps you going and there’s a lot you can learn from this film.

Awards: the movie won 3 New Talent [Yui’s performance] awards and one Best Film award [Reader’s choice].

There is also a j-drama based on this movie. Just good for me to re-experience the plot.