Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why doesn't anyone warn me?! (何で誰も注意しないの?!)

Ok, ok, I'm going to preface this post with a warning. (Ironic, no?)

For you purist types out there, I may be spoiling this movie I'm about to review.

But damn it all, I would have WELCOMED the warning.

I hate it when I get lured into these things without knowing what's coming up ahead! It's like driving down a road... and suddenly, cliff. The only warning signs were the strange lack of foliage up ahead, but you could have attributed that to desert.

Ok. So.

ボイーズ・ラブ(Boys Love)

Not to be confused with "Boys Love Theatrical Release." Made in 2006, directed by Terauchi Kotaro, Boys Love was released directly onto DVD. It did so well in sales, however, that he was asked to do another version for theatrical release. In fact, he wrote a completely new story, neglected to change the title, and voila, the confusion amongst the titles begins.

But I haven't watched that yet. We're focusing on Boys Love the non-theatrical here.


Ok. I have to get at least a little bit of reviewing out before I collapse in sheer angst.

It is a beautiful movie. Yes, beautiful in a horribly melodramatic way, but very touching. The director uses the interesting device of placing famous quotes about love on the bottom of the screen during a number of points, all crucially related to what's going on at the moment. I liked that. Somehow, it came off as deep instead of frivolous. I may be alone in thinking this, but hey. It's my review.

And yet.... uurrrgh.

Ok, let's try again.

So, we have our two main characters, Mamiya and Noeru. Mamiya is a journalist, and Noeru is... some sort of model-high schooler-artist...entrepreneur. I'll leave that last part open to interpretation because I'm not one to spoil the WHOLE thing. The relationship between the two men has something of a false start (bad touch, anyone?) when Mamiya is assigned to interview Noeru for his magazine, but the movie works past it (successfully, in my opinion) and focuses on the love that gradually develops between them.

Despite what anyone else says, I do think it's a believable love story. Some of the actors weren't so great, but I'm presuming that Terauchi worked with what he had; and still, both of the leads are well done, so it's really no problem. I suppose that the gradual, day-to-day aspect of their affection may lead some to think it's forced. On the contrary, I think it makes it more realistic. But I guess there's no pleasing some people...

Back to the movie. Shocked as you may be, I watched this knowing full well that it was a love story. However, I also watched it completely oblivious as to how it would end. Happy? Sad? I had no clue.

And I really should look into these things more carefully before I get so invested in the characters. Geez.

Let me just put it out there for you, my beloved readers: this movie has a tragic ending. Despite the fact that Mamiya begins the movie by telling you that this is not a tragedy, but a story of love. (Shoulda picked up on the hint, I suppose.) I would have been bawling if my mouth hadn't been hanging open at the shock of it.

Because, aside from tragic? TOTALLY UNNECESSARY. And also stupid. Not to mention the fact that it turned around in the last freaking five minutes. You tend to think you're safe at that point.

Please, comment, because I desperately need to tell someone how stupidly pointless I think this movie's ending was. Yes, it makes it tragic. But dang it all, it was already edgy! It didn't need a horribly tragic and "meaningful" ending! The real world's crappy enough, give me my happily ever after! Terauchi, you jerk.

Criticize me for not being able to deal with sad endings if you will, but damnit it was pointless. Not to mention unbelievable and even a little creepy...

But finally, before I get off on a rant... despite what all those other reviews say? This movie does not focus on the "taboo" of homosexual relationships. That's something I really admire about it, and one of the reasons I might actually watch it again (you just don't know how much that ending got to me, man). Sure, Noeru is mentally twisted, but it's not because he's gay. Sure, the ending is tragic, but it isn't because they're being discriminated against for their pure man love. It's just a love story, and damn it, that's the kind of thing I like to see. It's only when we start producing and consuming movies like this that we truly begin to chip down the barriers in place between the sexualities.

But then they had to go and ruin it.

Terauchi, you jerk.

This is Edo, signing off with every intention of reading some real BL to cheer herself up.

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