Monday, June 23, 2008

Night Time Picnic (Yoru no pikunikku, 夜のピクニック-2006)

Night Time Picnic
Tasuku Emoto ... Koichiro Takami
Sosuke Ikematsu ... Junya Sakaki
Takuya Ishida ... You Nishiwaki
Tomohiro Kaku ... Shinobu Toda
Shihori Kanjiya ... Rika Gotou
Rosa Kato ... Anna Sakaki
Madoka Matsuda ... Chiaki Kajiya
Aki Nishihara ... Miwako Yusa
Mikako Tabe ... Takako Koda
Ai Takabe ... Ryoko Uchihori
Narumi Konno

Following last year's sensitive Way of Blue Sky, director Nagasawa Masahiko continues to deal with coming-of-age tropes in Yoru no Picnic (a.k.a. Night Time Picnic). The film follows a group of high school students on a strenuous day-long hike during which they discover new sides of themselves. The story is adapted from author Onda Rika's popular same-titled novel, which earned Onda the Yoshikawa New Literary Writer's Award and the second Honya Award. Yoru no Picnic features a talented young cast including Tabe Mikako and Nishihara Aki who previously appeared in Way of Blue Sky, Ishida Takuya (Rough), Ikematsu Sosuke (Yamato), model Kato Rosa, and Kaku Tomohiro (Hana and Alice). Takako's (Tabe Mikako) high school has a unique tradition. Every year, the school's 1000 students walk 80 kilometers in 24 hours. As this is her final year of high school, Takako decides to work up the courage to talk to her stepbrother You (Ishida Takuya), whom she has never spoken to before. Classmates who are unaware of their relationship read something more into their awkward overtures.

This movie is a relatively slow moving, timid piece of work. I don't recommend it if you were looking for that "something, something". To some this would be considered boring. I'll admit that I was "this close" to just turning it off but I held on. This about friendships, relationships, trust, and betrayal.

It's a moving piece. Very thought provoking. I can't say much without giving away the plot and then the whole thing wouldn't be worth watching.

What if there was someone who was always there but you thought hated you but was more afraid of you? Would if this person was closer to you than you ever knew but didn't know how to be with that someone? Confusing? Trust me it's hard writing this without giving away the ending.

In the end, don't give up hope. Watch it till the end. It's very sentimental. I teared up at the end. It's a happy ending..that's all that I'll say.

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