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Monday, September 21, 2015

Beyond the memories

Kiyoki Yawaku
After taking a long break from blogging, I am tempted to start again. As usual, I like to talk about dramas, movies and sometimes books.
Well, yes, this time is also about a Japanese movie that I have watched recently, called "Beyond the memories" or "Kiyoku Yawaku". This movie might not be everyone's cup of tea. Some might regard it as typical and boring while some genuine.
The story involves around two persons - Seto and Roku - with similar painful pasts, with similar guilt, how they met and healed each other with love. The past that is haunting them is that they both had someone died because of them somehow or they thought so.
The movie started off with Seto's highschool years with her childhood bestfriend Haruta, developing the story to how Haruta died. There it showed the confusion, restlessness, and also sweetness of love in teeenage years.
The story itself is intriguing.. it has lots of meaningful messages underneath such as that "guilt isn't something you can let go, but something you have to deal with everyday". It is so relatable just to imagine to have someone close to you died and you have regrets for things that you have done or have not done to him/her. When a person dies, people alive suffer most because of their grief or guilt.
The acting is also superb. When Seto broke down in front of the class after Haruta died, it was so real how she was just pretending to feel nothing, burying her emotions, her guilt inside, and yet a single event could make her break down the walls and let out everything. The actor who played Roku, Osada Masaki, was also in portraying someone who seemed carefree yet with a heavy heart from the past.
The only one thing that I felt should have been better developed was the feelings between Seto and Roku. The chemistry was there but it would have been better if they took more screen time to let them develop the relationship. However, the story was more focused on how they helped each other to heal and move on from the past.
Overall, the movie left a great impression on me with its great story and cast. I have always enjoyed Japanese romance movies because they always leave me with thoughts after watching them.
Some memories are painful to revisit but they are still good memories...

Saturday, March 1, 2014

When getting near to the end of In a Good Way (我的自由年代)

I don’t know how to collect my thoughts after the last two episodes. But I will try. 

First of all, the story so far is developing very well. I wasn’t wrong to expect this drama to be a lightweight drama with moments of meaningful elements such as friendship. I wasn’t wrong to expect it to be different from Reply 1997.

So far, I love the friendship between all the characters - how they help each other when they face difficulties such as in Xiao Wei’s case and Treasure Hunt Club's problems.

I love how the story incorporates different college elements to fit into the theme of freedom and friendship. For example, the exam, the protest, the concert, the club activities and so on. 

The character development in this drama is superb, Jia En's growth from a naive country girl to a girl with a strong heart and will to help others, Bai Xue's growth and freedom from her crush on Liu Chuan, Ren Wei's realization of himself, and Xiao Wei's courage to stand up for herself and so on. Everyone has a significant part in the story. Everyone has grown up a lot during the period. I find myself glad and joyful to see these each and everyone growing up throughout the drama. 

Of course, I shouldn't forget to mention our OTP is one of the best ever. Liu Chuan being there for Jia En in the beginning and now Jia en being there for him, such a balanced relationship, I would say! I love how Jia En's grown up so much compared with the beginning and how she can be the strength for Liu chuan now. 

Now there are more than one-third left to come from this drama. I wonder how much surprise it is gonna give me, since I have been surprised episode by episode several times from the start. 

Oh that moment! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Tiny Times 1.0 and 2.0 - Behind the hype!!!

There was so much hype around Tiny Times trilogy, fans and critics showing pretty polarized feelings.

Fans of the book series , on one hand, showed so much support for both the first and second movie installations  that they hit the box office in China. Critics, on the other hand, criticized the films being materialistic, not having a solid storyline, so on and so on.

Then I watched. My experience says, no matter what the critics say, there is something addictive about these movies. Well, let me explain.

What are the good points?

First,  why wouldn't you like a story, which is all about what you dream of? The critics say the luxury showoffs in the films make it materialistic; therefore, a bad influence for young people in China. But, come on, who cares? Friendship, relationships, career and dreams.. these are all what young people can think of, at their age. The film is unrealistic - that's true! But it gives the audience a fantasy that they can enjoy, but that's it, nothing more than that!

Second, the eye candies! I didn't know the male cast before, even Kai Ko who was in "You are the apple of my eyes". The male cast is beautiful, especially Chen Xue Dong who plays "Zhou Chong Guang", a character representing Guo Jingming, the author himself :P.  And famous actresses, Yang Mi and Amber Guo, joining the cast, make it more perfect though I don't like Yang Mi that much.

The music was GREAT! I totally fell in love with Sodagreen's Wo Hao Xiang Ni (I Miss You). Other soundtracks are also good. 

Here comes my favorite part, the narrations! Maybe due to Guo Jing ming's intention to follow the books strictly, the films incorporate lots of narrations, from Lin Xiao's (Yang Mi's character) perspective and  also Zhou Chong Guang's. I prefer listening to someone narrating rather than reading it. Giving you a taste of it:
We live in a vast universe, stardust and light particles floating all throughout. We are existences smaller than these. One does not know when life's direction would change, sunk into a darkness as think as ink, dragged into a deep abyss by disappointment, trapped into a grave by illness, trampled to pieces by frustration. You are jeered, mocked, disliked, hated, patronized, abandoned...But we preserved hope in our hearts, kept a heart that would not give up beating. We still make tiny efforts in the midst of great despair. And this feeling of not willing to give up - it becomes the specks of starlight in the dark. We are all small specks of starlight.
 - Zhou Chong Guang (Tiny Times 1.0)

It is not flawless though.

The acting, to start with, isn't that great, though not that bad either. I found some scenes cliche and over-acted, turning comical. Amber Kuo stands out among others, and Chen Xue Dong also did well as a newbie while I didn't like Rhydian Vaughan's acting on the other hand.

However, the major flaw would be the story itself. Although the story, like I said before, is something that you can relate to and enjoy, it is shallow; there is no depth in characters; there is no explanation behind their behaviors. Let's say, for example,the love line between Lin Xiao and Zhou Chong Guang is poorly developed.

Considering these flaws, does it deserve a very low rating of 2.6/10 in IMDB? I don't think so.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

First Adventure!!! :)))

I have been thinking whether to create a blog of my own or not. 
There are too many reasons that I shouldn't start doing this. Let's say, most importantly, it is going to be too time-consuming for sure. Sometimes, you will not always know what you really want to do. It might just be a temporary interest. That's why I have been kept postponing this first post.
That's true. I might not be a great writer or anything. I might not be able to commit too much time.But.. 
This is just me who want to share the thoughts and feelings I get from movies, dramas, books and music.