Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Film Review: Rainbow Song (2006)

Rainbow Song (Review)
Japan/2006
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...the perfect film to make you feel."

After the loss of his dear friend Aoi Sato (Juri Ueno), Tomoya Kishida (Hayato Ichihara) recollects the significant events they shared...

Rainbow Song begins in the present where Kishida works at a small television studio and receives news of Aoi's unfortunate passing. The film then turns to the conception of their relationship and leads up up to their final goodbyes; in between, we see the pair work on films, seek employment, and console each other during their complicated love lives. It's relatively simple, but extremely effective. The ending is powerful -- it's bittersweet, and allows the film to linger in your mind long after its ending.

Rainbow Song is a fantastic drama. The story's simplicity is attractive to most genre fans, but the characters are the film's main dish. The relationship between Kishida and Aoi is meticulously and masterfully crafted. Every scene they share works efficiently in developing their friendship and their hidden romance. That's also what I love about the film: every scene has a purpose. The film has little-to-no filler content and moves at a moderate pace -- it kept me hooked from beginning to end.

Furthermore, Rainbow Song is a very human experience. It feels very real and genuine. The film's focus on character and relationship allows for a connection between audience and, well, film. And, I was very connected. But, it's not just romance, either. The film also has a focus on general life and the ups and downs we go through -- this, of course, also felt very genuine. In fact, it was also very contemplative and reflective; it's a film that made me reflect on my life and my choices -- there aren't many films that do that nowadays.

The acting is great. Okay, it's superb. Juri Ueno and Hayato Ichihara are great leads, and share great charisma and chemistry. More importantly, the pair emphasize the human-aspect of the film. The film is also beautifully shot; the music compliments the often somber tones of the film. The English subtitles on the Netflix Instant stream has great subtitles, too. Director Naoto Kumazawa (who also assists in the writing) masterfully crafts a thought-provoking and genuinely emotional drama without the melodramatics -- it's one of the most human films I've ever watched.

Overall, Rainbow Song is a masterpiece. It's a powerful drama with deep contemplative and reflective values. It's a film that will make you think about the actual film, but about your life as well. It's a film that doesn't sugarcoat its subject nor does it resort to the melodramatics. It's much more than a romance film, it's a film about life. It's as joyful and happy as it is somber and saddening, the perfect film to make you feel.

Score: 10/10
Parental Guide: The film is generally safe for most audiences. It does deal with themes of death and has some sexual references, but it is far from graphic.

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