|Kaze no sotogawa 2007 Japan Out of the Wind|
The boy and girl enter into a typical movie relationship. It starts off distant and rocky but love slowly swirls. Then the focus of the film drifts to the guy who has a dream of becoming a big time Yakuza. Problem is, he's Korean, so he has to prove himself on his way up the ladder by doing all the icky jobs. One of which turns out to be killing a Korean business man who ... drumroll, please ... turns out to be Mariko's father. That would mean, you guessed it, Mariko is half Korean. Now the film drifts into an exploration of identity and we're given an excuse to up the ante in the love relationship between Mariko and her bodyguard. The life of Koreans and the discrimination they endure living in Japan is also explored.
It's not that a film can't grow and expand on the themes it explores but it has to be well-written and executed or it will fail. The amount of suspension of disbelief required to get from A to B to C in this film is huge. I didn't have the power to suspend my disbelief that a director would have his young daughter do a nude scene in her film debut, nor was I able to get through the scene where the bodyguard stumbles into the opera house and stabs Mariko's father while she watches the whole thing, albeit with a wrinkled forehead, and never stops singing.
This film is pretty awful, and it's too bad because Sakura Ando's performance is pretty good. It's a real sign of talent when you can be good in a bad film.
Summary: High school student Mariko (Ando Sakura) sings in the choir at the all-girls school she attends, and her biggest dream right now is to go to a music college. One day on her way home from school, she accidentally drops her bookbag into the sea. A man (Sasaki Takao) jumps into the water and recovers the bag for her, but all of her score sheets have been ruined. From that day on, Mariko's new acquaintance becomes her bodyguard, walking her home everyday. But for some reason, he refuses to tell her his name.