Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Recommended: Petal Dance

This film from 2013 starred Miyazaki Aoi, Katsuna Shiori and Ando Sakura and was directed by Ishikawa Hiroshi, who I’ve written about once before and then promptly forgot about. That’s a shame, because this film is a quiet, thoughtful and, above all, hypnotic study about friendship and life. After I downloaded it, I decided to have a quick look, fully expecting to watch the first three minutes just to see what it was like. I ended up watching the whole thing.

The story involves two friends who hear about a friend of theirs who apparently jumped into the sea and had to be rescued. They decided to go and see her in hospital and, by chance, they meet someone who can drive them there.

The style is slow and ponderous. Shots are held without anything in particular happening except perhaps a shift in posture. This gives the viewer a chance to enjoy the photography, which is lovely, with excellent use of natural light and composition.

For such a slow film, it touches on a lot of issues: new love, lost friends, unemployment, suicide. None of these are examined at any length but somehow they’re both pivotal to the storyline and inconsequential. It’s up to the viewer to decide how important each event is.

It is, at its heart, a road movie. It’s a very quiet one, but it definitely is a road movie: people go on a journey which changes things. How things change? Well, that’s never made clear. But that’s fine. If this film did start explaining everything, it would probably ruin it.

Update, 18th Jan: I've decided to make this "recommended" because in the two weeks since I first saw it, I've watched twice more.

1 comment:

  1. Great review, I agree with everything you said. The cinematography and score really amplify the tone of the film. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Definitely one of my favorite films :). Great site, keep up the good work.