Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Straight Story

Kakera: A Piece of Our Life (2009) - Ando
Haru (Hikari Mitsushima of Love Exposure), a college student is a bit of a pushover when it comes to relationship. Her boneheaded boyfriend hasn't even broken up with his ex and is constantly demanding sex. One day, she meets Riko (Eriko Nakamura), a prosthetics artist at a coffeeshop. She wipes off Haru's cocoa mustache, saying she finds her very attractive. Riko is that straightforward. So begins this girl-on-girl love story based on the popular manga, Love Vibes. Would make a good double feature with Happy Together.

Kakera is not set in Buenos Aires nor features spectacular cinematography. With the muted, soft color palette and James Iha's hazy strumming, Kakera has a nostalgia inducing 70's drama feel to it. I don't know much about Japanese manga culture that's geared toward girl audiences. But I didn't expect this subtle yet penetrating observation on relationship from a manga adaptation. Mitsushima and Nakamura draw sympathy as they portray these well drawn characters who go in and out of love with all the trimmings- jealousy, confusion, loneliness... With its open ended-ness and emotional honesty, Kakera reminds me of a good French drama more than anything else.