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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Dakishimetai (2014)


Also known as: I just wanna hug you
Counrty: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: drama, true life
Cast: Nishikido Ryo, Kitagawa Keiko, Kamiji Yusuke, Saito Takumi, Hirayama Aya, Sato Eriko, Sato Megumi, Kubota Masataka, Kunimura Jun, Fubuki Jun,
Synopsis: Yamamoto Tsukasa is left into wheelchair after car accident at age 17. She is still suffering form the aftereffects, but she is trying to live her life as fullest as she can. She meets with taxi driver Koyanagi Masaki and they fall in love. Despite all the difficulties they decide to create their own happy family.
Rating: 4/5
I was a bit disappointed with the movie, but I give credit for one of the sweetest kiss scenes I have ever seen. The movie is based on true events and there was a documentary on real couple in 2011.


Yamamoto Tsukasa is really strong woman who wants to prove to the world that even though she is disabled she can do everything on her own. Of course many times she is just being headstrong and gets easily irritated when she feels that someone is feeling sorry for her. There are not many movies about disabilities and sometimes I feel that there are even less movies with strong women, so plus points for it. Kitagawa Keiko did absolutely amazing job with this movie. It is not easy to act as if you cannot feel your legs and actually act it so everybody will believe. Okey, in some moments you can understand that she is moving her legs a bit, but it is not so big problem.

Koyanagi Masaki is a taxi driver who becomes involved with Tsukasa and basically becomes her personal taxi driver. They do not exactly explain what is the thing that makes Masaki fall for her, but I believe it is her way of being strong despite everything. Masaki actually has a girlfriend at first who is wearing the pants in the relationship and that way it makes Masaki look a bit less manly. He is the kind of nice and a bit of weak man who falls for women who are mentally much stronger than he is. In addition you can see how many women often use violence on him. He is a man of few words and does not know how to tell things to other people, but he sure loves Tsukasa. He is not willing to give up on her, even when others are against them. He devotes himself to loving Tsukasa forever. Nishikido's performance is really great.

Both Masaki's and Tsukasa's parents want the best for them, but it also means that they are not fans of those two being together. Masaki's parents of course look at Tsukasa's disability and are afraid that she cannot "fulfill woman's duty". In a way it is also the fear of Tsukasa's mother, who helps Tsukasa a lot in her life and she has doubts about Masaki. No mother wants to see her child's heart broken.
From other characters I think is worth mentioning Tonden. Tonden is Masaki's friend from work. He has little luck with women, so he decides to learn other languages to find a foreign girlfriend. This languages part becomes a really important point of the movie and I really liked it, even though they all have really big accent when they speak in English. There are many more people and characters in the movie who are amazing - Tsukasa's team of people with real disabilities, Junpei, children at the daily care center etc. I am part of student volunteering organisation and we have social projects with children, elders and disabled people, so this part of the movie was really connecting with me.

But why I was disappointed? I did not like about the movie was that at many times I did not understand what is going on, some scenes where just put between others just to use the time and movie was lingering all the time. I was waiting a bit more of it than they gave me. Over all the movie was really slow paced and I actually managed to finish watching it on a second try, because at first try I fell asleep. It is really beautiful love story and sad at the same time, but I think you really need to have special mood for watching it and things going well with your personal love life (or have no one on the horizon). It has really beautiful scenes and has this great natural feeling as if you are not watching movie at all. If you think I am a bad person for dissing this movie, then I remind you that the movie is more dramatization and if you want the hear the real life story of Tsukasa and Masaki, then watch their documentary.
To end the review, I would like to remind you to enjoy the moment, cherish the people who you love and do not procrastinate, because tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Be careful with the trailer, because they actually show the best scenes already in it.


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