Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Recommended: Rebirth

I feel like I'm recommending everything at the moment! I must be stricter with my reviews. Or force myself to watch some rubbish.

This film from 2011 is about a child abduction. A woman, Nonomiya Kawako (played by Nagasaku Hiromi) steals a baby, Erina, and goes on the run. We then see the effect this has psychologically on everyone concerned. The mother who cannot hope for a long term relationship with the child she's raising, the child who constantly moves and can't make friends, and the real mother who never really gets back the daughter she lost.

It's told in a non-linear style, and the storyline hops between the present (Erina as an adult, played by Inoue Mao) and past (Erina and her not-mother) and also a couple of scenes in a sort of middle ground, where Erina is a child back with her real parents, unable to make sense of her new surroundings. This is an interesting way of telling the story, as both time-lines converge on the same place: The place where Kawako was finally arrested and Erina separated from her "mother".

It's very touching and well acted. Nagasaku Hiromi is fantastic as the loving abductor. I'm quite relieved because after Cast Me If You Can and Dirty Mama, I was starting to worry that she'd never been in anything good. Meanwhile, Inoue Mao is equally excellent in the role of Erina who finally faces the events of her childhood that she's tried so hard to repress.

It's a very sad story, as you'd expect, and after two and a half hours watching Kawako and Erica bonding as mother and child, the moment of separation is very painful as the cruelty and selfishness of the crime really hits home.


  1. You need to be more strict with your rating haha, but it's good to read a blog so positive xD but I do tend to agree... you need to watch some rubbish hahaha

  2. The problem is, when I watch something bad, I usually don't feel like writing a review for it. I saw Kazoku no Uta, and it was so bland, I couldn't bring myself to have an opinion about it.

  3. If you like Nagasaku, try Magerarenai Onna, with her, Kanno Miho and Tanihara Shosuke. One of my favorites from 2010.

  4. This comment is late, because I'm slowly working my way through your recommendations, but...you really should watch the drama of Youkame no Semi. I realize both were based on a novel, and who knows (not me, since I don't read Japanese) which is the more faithful, but all (or most)of the warnings of the wrong she was doing are left out of the movie. In the drama, every episode seemed to have someone who had lost a child, to death, divorce, disagreement, etc and every one of those people let her know the pain involved. And in the end (spoiler alert -- but not really, since you've seen the movie) she gets to experience the depth of that pain herself. I think Inoue Mao is a better actress than Kitano Kii, but the secondary characters in the drama were probably better.

    Anyway, thanks for you blog. I'm finding it a good guide to organizing my watch list.