The Fallen Angel (Japanese Movie 2010)

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Movie Rating: 8/10

~Synopsis~

“No Longer Human” tells the story of a young man who has felt since childhood utterly alien from others around him. Since that time he has learned to put on a face to hide his alienation. He feels incapable of belonging to the human society, especially so by society’s refusal to take him seriously. He then follows a descent into alcohol, drugs, & suicide …

Yozo Oba (Toma Ikuta) was born into a wealthy family in Tsugaru. As a child he practiced smiling to hide his true feelings and to get along with others. His classmate Dakeichi found out about Yozo’s eccentric behavior and told others about him. But Dakeichi also told Yozo a strange prediction about his life … that he will become popular with the ladies and draw beautiful pictures.

During Yozo’s high school years he moved to Tokyo. In Tokyo he meets Horiki (Yusuke Iseya), a guy six years older than him. Horiki is known for being a player and one day drags Yozo to the Blue Flower Bar run by Madame Ritsuko (Michiyo Ookusu). At the bar there is poet Chuya Nakahara (Go Morita) who proclaims “war is brown like the color of shit”. Yozo doesn’t say anything as he takes in the environment.

Yozo starts to drink more often and starts to live the fast life like Horiki. Like Dakeichi’s prediction, Yozo also becomes popular with the ladies and always has a woman next to him. But, Yozo starts to become sick of this lifestyle.

At a cafe, Yozo meets Hisako (Shinobu Terajima) a women who lets him drink without paying. Yozo senses that Hisako feels a heavy sense of loneliness like himself. One day Yozo and Hisako attempts to kill themselves out in the Sea of Kamakura. Hisako dies, but Yozo survives. His family then takes Yozo to a sanitarium.

Excerpted from: AsianMediaWiki

I have initially put this movie on hold, since I wasn’t really ready to handle a depressing film as per the initial summary I’ve read at Avistaz but I’m glad I finally got to watch it. The movie is mostly slow and has a really complex story line. Despite that, the portrayal of the actors was top of the line, it felt realistic and they have nailed each character with so much fervor it could actually affect the way you think of the movie.

Upon watching, I feel like the main character Yozo Oba has lived such a bleak existence. He had no sense of purpose and I felt bad for him as he trudged on with his life not knowing where to go, what exactly he wants to achieve or simply not knowing how to live in happiness. Near the end of the film though, there was a glimpse of a little fulfillment and joy in his desolate life, but it didn’t actually last long. Things simply happen and life was being a bitch to him.

Music wise, it was melancholic and enough to make the film into what its tone should be but it’s not something that has wowed me enough to remember it. I’m having second thoughts on re-watching it, probably I will in the far future if I wanted to re-analyze my own life if it has indeed become as depressing as Yozo Oba.

Overall, I would suggest that if someone would decide to check this movie out simply because Ikuta Toma is their bias, think again. It’s not romantic, it’s also devoid of anything funny because this film can sap the happiness out of you like it did for me and lastly it has a heavy atmosphere all throughout its run time. That said, I’m still recommending it because it happened in real life, it is a beautiful memoir and it has fantastic actors to back it up.

Photos are not mine. Credits to the owner.
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Personal Taste (Korean Drama 2010)

Drama Rating: 8/10

Jeon Jin Ho is an architect who dreams of making it big in the industry but somehow luck wasn’t on his side or rather, he didn’t have good connections. In some kind of twisted fate, he meets the naïve Park Gae In by accident in the bus and gets accused of being a Personal Taste Ep 08.avi_002269636pervert. They didn’t know that their lives will become intertwined when Gae In, the daughter of a famous architect gets dumped by her boyfriend for her best friend Kim In Hee who was also her housemate. In these series of unfortunate events in her life, the worst of all was when her debt from the bank was nearing its due date and her co-worker robbed her of her hard earned money. Thus she started looking for a housemate to at least pay her initial debt. Coincidentally Jin Ho wanted to see the interior of the Personal Taste Ep 08.avi_002276443house that Gae In lives in which her father has designed and sneak a peek at the blueprint of the house. Therefor he asked if he could rent the room which Gae In was subletting. With a couple of misunderstanding and some urging from Lee Yeong Seon who’s Gae In’s other best friend, she allowed Jin Ho to stay in her place all the while thinking he was gay. At a certain point, things get tricky when Jin Ho starts to fall for Gae In despite her naivety, brash attitude and unwomanly ways while on the other hand Gae In is also falling for Jin Ho despite the fact that she thinks he’s gay.

This is a really hilarious drama with conflicting emotions to watch. Why? It’s so hard to believe that Lee Min Ho’s character was supposed to a homosexual and that an older man in this drama legitimately liked him with the thought of him as one. The mishaps on how he has to keep his ruse on for the entirety of the drama brought me tears of laughter. There’s the plus point for the supporting actors too, since without them, the comedy wouldn’t be as effective.

Anyways, putting that aside, there’s another reason that made me watch this: Son Ye Jin.

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Yes… the epic melodrama actress. I really wanted to see how she would fare being in a drama romcom. I’ve only seen her once in a rom-com-horror movie with Lee Min Ki, but in a drama, this was a first. I’ve always seen her in melodramatic roles but still, she totally nailed the character of Park Gae In. Though she’s gotten older and her beauty pretty much disappeared in this drama, just because her character’s personality was supposed to be tomboyish and scruffy due to her type of work which was woodcraft, I still love her to bits. Another reason I watched this drama was no other than Lee Min Ho. I know a lot of female Kdrama lovers have been into him one or another in their drama lives and truth be told I’m actually one of them for approximately 7 years ago. It’s probably because of that eye candy, the smile, the tallness, the oozing hotness and fashion sense… that’s all Lee Min Ho in this drama in which he pretends to be gay. I can’t believe he was able to pull off this character despite his manliness.

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The series was quite funny due to its main concept: guy pretends to be gay, girl accepts guy whole heartedly because of his sexual orientation but ends up falling for him and having mixed feelings because she believes he is gay, then the guy falls for the girl but can’t really love her because he’s supposed to be gay. With this as your core plot, there were a lot of things that could happen and eventually it did happen. The only downerPersonal Taste Ep 02.avi_000149516 side of this is when we get to the last 3 episodes and this becomes too serious for my taste. I was sort of disappointed on how they inserted additional conflict to the story along with a twist, when the main conflict – guy pretending to be a gay – was already interesting enough. The twist wasn’t even that strong to make an impact in the whole story line. Just to say. Also there’s the back stabber bestfriend-boyfriend drama all throughout the series which was very much annoying.

All in all, setting those disappointing factors aside, I still end up loving the drama and would recommend it whole heartedly along with the cute memorable OST to listen from.

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (Korean Drama 2010)

Drama Rating: 10/10

Cha Dae Woong is a young mischievous man who ran away from this grandfather due to certain circumstances, in the process of his escape, he accidentally frees a Gumiho (nine-tailed fox) trapped in a painting for 500 years. It was too late when he realized what happened and in his fear, he also tried to run away from the creature which took theMy Girlfriend is a gumiho (6) form of a beautiful woman. However, he became severely injured and because the Gumiho was grateful for being set free by him, she saved his life by sharing her life force to him. After the incident, the Gumiho has stayed close by Dae Woong for the reason that she had to guard her bead – which was her life force and source of power that she had transferred to him. She also wanted to get by in the modern world and wanted to learn the ways of the people. As time passed by, no matter how annoyed Dae Woong is with the Gumiho’s constant presence, they both slowly start to fall for each other.

My Girlfriend is a gumiho (12)What I love about this drama is the prettiness of Shin Min Ah. It’s as if she doesn’t age at all or more like she keeps getting younger and younger as she grows older. If that even makes sense? Her role here is fresh and cute that I couldn’t take off my eyes on the screen because it’s too unbelievable even if she’s supposed to be a fox. Aside this, the story line is very very amusing. Episode per episode would just send you off smiling and laughing with all those hilarious moments the main characters gets into. This isn’t your My Girlfriend is a gumiho (3)typical romantic comedy where girl loves boy and boy falls for girl… it’s different because the girl is a fox and the boy is human. Then mix in different immortal beings of the world in the picture, like for example a goddess, a goblin and a human half goblin… yeah. Underworld creatures and immortals are invading the story line but it’s what makes it more interesting. Not to forget the OST, it adds to the whole concept of the drama: cuteness, hilarity and love in whatever kind of form.

Photos are not mine. Credits to the owner.