|Chanto tsutaeru 2009 Japan Be Sure to Share|
Sion Sono has made some strange films. This is not one of them unless you consider it strange for him to make such a normal film. Be Sure to Share is a small, simple, and sentimental film, not typically Sono-esque. There's no blood and there's no running around with a handheld camera. There's plenty of emotional desperation but it's of the uplifting kind. The film is about a twenty-seven year old young man who wants to find a moment of bonding, a way of saying thank you, "I love you, man" to his dying father. The title says it all. It's not too mushy, though. The film works because of it's simplicity. There is the big scene that sort of stretches credulity but we could see it coming and Sono follows it up with one of the more hilarious uses of the line "didn't see that one coming" I've ever heard. It's off-camera and sort of eavesdropped upon and it made me laugh out loud.
The film is beautifully cast. Everyone is lovable. Idol-boy Akira does a very credible job playing a normal guy who all of a sudden must deal with mortality, in more ways than one. Ayumi Ito is adorable as his girlfriend and has one of the best crying scenes I've seen in a film. Keiko Takahash is pure mom incarnate, an immaculate performance. Eiji Okuda is good as the father when he's lovable and nice but he also has to play the predictably strict father who's tough to love, in flashbacks, so we get a sense of whatever it is that that film cliché gives us. That's the only weak part of the film but it's not enough to spoil it.
Summary: Shortly after completing his epochal study of sex, God and familial relationships, Love Exposure, iconoclastic writer and director Sion Sono directed this uncharacteristically gentle meditation on a dying father and his adult son. Shiro (Akira) has never had an especially warm relationship with his dad (Eiji Okuda), a stern and emotionally callous athletic coach. But when he learns that his father has been diagnosed with cancer is not likely to survive, Shiro tries to put the past behind him and forge a new friendship with his dad, visiting the hospital each day as his mother (Keiko Takahashi) quietly looks after her ailing husband. His father repeatedly suggests that they should go fishing once he's out of the hospital, and though Shiro has never fished in his life, he tries to learn as a sign of faith in his father's survival. But Shiro's new attitude is put to the test when his doctor informs him he's contracted an even more virulent form of cancer, and may die before his father. Chanto Tsutaeru (aka Be Sue To Share) was the closing night attraction at the 2009 New York Asian Film Festival.