Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Finally, a satisfying ending! (やっと、満足させる結びや!)

You know, I was beginning to think that the realm of BL movies was a barren wasteland, populated entirely by movies that were all unsatisfying; if not horribly, pointlessly depressing, then confusing and lacking in true resolution.

I never thought I'd say this, but... Thank goodness for manga film adaptations!

Because I'll be damned if I haven't finally found a happy, un-confusing, and utterly satisfying movie of the BL variety.

(Ok, so, it wasn't as... entirely satisfying as, say, a good Naono Bohra BL manga would be, but I know where to set the realistic expectations here.)

愛の言霊 (Ai no Kotodama, The Power in the Language of Love)

(... yea. That title simply does not translate. 言霊, or kotodama, is, roughly, believing that saying thoughts can make them real. Belief in the power of words, language, what have you. It's very cool, but it only tangentially relates to the movie, so... another post! The International title is apparently "Words of Devotion"... yea. I feel a little cheated there.)

The real problem going into this movie, though, is that it's based on a manga series, as mentioned above, so I can't help but feeling that those of us who haven't read it are missing a few things. At the same time, however, I never felt lost; just maybe like I hadn't been privy to a prologue. It is because of this fact that I'm a bit more forgiving when it comes to character development, though; theoretically, they were already fleshed out, and the film was playing off of that.

Still, though, I think it works as a stand alone. The narration technique is good for that, and well employed here, I think.

...though I should probably talk more about plot and less about my rather muddled critique, I suppose.

So, this movie follows the already established (in that they live, sleep and eat together, not that they go around saying "HI GUYS, WE ARE A GAY COUPLE!") couple of college men, Ootani Shinya and Tachibana Miyako (no, I don't get the girl name either, though I assume it uses boy kanji), played by Tokuyama Hidenori and Saitoh Yasuka, respectively. (Yes, I know; a BL movie without Saitoh Takumi? I was surprised as well.) They have been together for most of their lives, and apparently (according to the blurb) confessed to one another and began living together after graduating from high school. Yea, that wasn't in the movie, but I presume that it's important for back-story. You do get the sense from the supporting cast that these two are always together, though; everyone makes a point of it at least once.

The main conflict is, as expected in this sort of (cliched) BL plot, jealousy: a girl from their high school (who we know has had, and possibly still has, a crush on at least one member of the couple) comes to their college to visit a friend, and becomes a new annoyance to Ootani, who is convinced she is after Tachibana in a carnal sort of way. As the movie is narrated by Ootani, we tend to see it from his view, and begin to wonder if he isn't right to worry.

There is cute coupley behavior, angst, and surprise gayness abounds. As I mentioned, it is a rather hackneyed BL plot, so expect misunderstandings, ridiculous circumstances that lead to unintentional hurt feelings, and female characters you're meant to hate, not sympathize with.

However, there is something of a love scene at the end, something I have yet to see in his genre. It's nothing terribly risque, but at the same time, it does require a bit more from the actors in question, which I find impressive. Kudos, gentleman, for being man enough to do a BL love scene. Kudos indeed.

Ultimately, as it ends happily, has a satisfying yet open conclusion, and stars two actors who are quite decent, I think that it is a thoroughly enjoyable film that is definitely worth watching if you're a BL fan. Heck, even if you're not; expand your horizons!

This is Edo, signing off with her faith restored in the BL movie industry.

No comments: