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Rabu, 27 April 2011

Norihiro Koizumi - Flowers (2010)

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Flowers is a Japanese film that tells the story of a group of women from one family spanning three generations. Set in the 1930's, the 60's and the present day, it shows the relationships that form, that disappear, as well as the expectations of women in each era. The film is split into 3 segments although the stories cross over and flit between each: it starts in the 1930's and where a young women, Rin, has second thoughts about her marriage despite her fathers anger. This era is brief at the start and quickly the film focus's on the other more recent generations, both of which tend to cross over. In the 1960's three sisters lead different lives, one is a strong willed working woman longing for love and only finding amorous advances from a less than desirable man: one sister cares for their father and has once herself been in love. She and her husband go away to stay at a retreat, only for us to discover she is pretending he is there, as he died some years before. The other sister gets married and has a daughter and all is well until she falls pregnant again and a hard choice must be made: keep the child and risk both their lives of get rid of the child and risk the regret.These two stories alone are so beautifully portrayed, yet deeply moving. In the present day, we meet two sisters, one happy care free who believes everything must be enjoyed, a device she has used since she was her kid, when she understood her mother had died (the sister from the 60's) and her older sister who falls pregnant and without love in her life struggles with the notion. The film near the end takes us back to the 1930's to see what decision Rin has made, one that of course will effect the stories we have already witnessed.

It is in writing a complicated story, but on the screen it translates well, even if at times the flitting from era to era becomes a little confusing, with so many characters, although, director Norihiro Koizumi for the 1930's era, films in black and white, while the present day looks bold and new, while the 1960's is wonderfully realised with pastel colours, sound stage style sets and costumes. Visually the film is radiant with great use of landscapes, snow and of course flowers, which often have subtle placement in many scenes. Radiant too are the actresses who portray these very different but very much connected women. The characters and their lives and the connections they have are at times enough to tug at the heart strings of anyone and emotional side of the film is strong. Yet whilst there are many sad elements to this there are also beautiful ones. Elements of sisterhood, family, friendship and love abound throughout providing a really strong story and one that it is easy to relate and connect with.

There's something wonderful about going to see a film without knowing much about it and coming away having had a great film experience. (iheartfilms.weebly.com)

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