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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ningen Shikkaku (2010)


Also known as: The Fallen Angel
Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: drama
Cast: Ikuta Toma, Iseya Yusuke, Ishihara Satomi, Koike Eiko, Sakai Maki, Terajima Shinobu, Muroi Shigeru, Ishibashi Renji, Morita Go, Ookusu Michiyo, Mita Yoshiko, 
Synopsis: Since early childhood Oba Yozo feels like he does not belong to this world, that his birth was a mistake. Until high school he tries to get away with smiling and making himself look dumb, but then he is seen through by his classmate. He enters art school, but after meeting Horiki, his life is interrupted by the circle of alcohol, women and poorness. Trapped in his thoughts, it is difficult to find any way out. 

Rating: 3/5
It is bearable to watch when you are drinking, even though one message that the movie tells you is that alcohol will ruin your life. And definitely do not drink alcohol when you are underage! But the movie goes much faster with it XD It is really slow and does not cover the real story behind the book. 

I really loved the book and I feel sad that they did not do the movie as well as there was the possibility. Most of all, you must have read the original story to understand even the most simple things in the movie, otherwise you must have wide imagination to think why one or other thing happened and the movie leaves a big space for your own imagination. 
Most difficult is to understand Yozo’s character. I know Toma is a great actor and he acted really well this time too, but the problem lies on script-writers field. In book they had Yozo’s thoughts all explained which made his actions more reasonable, but in the movie, they tried to get away with long “beautyshots” (as I call them) and “getting the atmosphere  to say everything else”. It does not explain a single fact to a watcher who does not know anything about the book. You must understand that Yozo was like an agonized genius. 
He had so much potential to become someone great, but he did not find his place in the world. Beside, he was really impressionable person and on certain point Hiroki was able to see him through and change Yozo's life into a total mess, while Yozo thinks of Hiroki as one person who understands him. I just came back from philosophy class, so I could make a really deep analyze on Yozo's character and his problems, but I bet you actually do not want to hear it.. Anyway, I feel that they did not show Yozo's mental state and reasons enough. 
It might be a small spoiler, but for example the reason why he decided to leave Yoshiko, the only woman who was able to change him, behind? It was not the reason, that he was unable to forgive her, but that he was unable to forgive himself. He as a man and an husband should have protected her or at least made some action after it, but he had decided to ignore it and it was something he was unable to forgive himself. I might add that Yozo basically saw all the negative things in this society and he was unable to find his way. He wanted to become artist, he wanted to become rich, but he needed education, which needed money etc. I hope all my readers know about how was the global situation in 1930-1950s. More than that, "Ningen Shikkaku" and especially Yozo's character are very autobiographical. "Ningen shikkaku" was one of the last novels Dazai Osamu wrote and there are so many parallels between Dazai Osamu's and Yozo's life, as suicide attempts etc.    
Hiroki was two-faced man, who loved to take advantage of others. He is one character who I hated in book and also in the movie. I feel that he was one big reason for Yozo's declension and the worst part 
is that he actually knew how one or other thing will affect Yozo. And if you want his motive in doing these things, then it is simple - he understood what kind of person Yozo is, he disliked him with a small interest, because he also knew that Yozo might become someone extraordinary and then there is always the way how to prevent that, which was exactly the thing Hiroki wanted to do. He only cared about himself and maybe a little of his mom too, but everything other was just unimportant to him.
I do not say much about the women, because I think that they really  did not tell anything important about them in the movie, but actually in book each of them has their own story, they own reasons, why Yozo is enchanted by them.
The movie is nothing compared to the book, but if you want to enjoy Ikuta Toma in a very serious and psychological movie, then watch it. I say, I managed to watch it with getting drunk (and believe me, it actually had no influence on my thoughts about the movie).  If you want to see it for the story, then forget it! Dazai Osamu's "Ningen Shikkaku" is one of the most famous literature masterpiece from war-time Japan and I think that no-one is able to make it into a movie without loosing its magic. 



1 comment:

  1. hi, I agree with you somewhat but I really like the movie when I watch it the second time. Like you I also read the book and love it so much and I love Ikuta Toma. But when I watch the movie, it leave a lot of detail that make me disappointed at first.Still I love it toward the end of the movie where Toma acting was so great. I don't think they was able to have all the details in one movie but they manage to show viewer the most importance fact is that why Yozo felt unhuman due to having no purpose in life and how his life was destroyed by alcohol and drug due to his friend. Only if Yozo didn't meet this friend, his life would become differently. To be honest, I was looking forward to the sexy part since I love Toma. I think the women that he meet weren't as importance detail as I previously state. Thank you I really enjoy reading your review.

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