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04 February 2011 @ 03:39 am
[Movie]: The Seaside Motel (Jpn)  
Yes, well. Since I haven't really got much to do lately, I have decided! to put up thoughts on movies I've watched over the past year or so. Some of these are quite silly, and others have actually become my favourite films, but we'll get to that as we go along. Firstly, the movie that inspired this: The Seaside Motel.

It's a kind of comedic drama; a slice of life kind of film taking place at a motel set in the rural mountains (let the characters point out how obviously wrong that is!) where the four rooms and their occupants do their own thing but their paths are hopelessly intertwined just because it's a movie (slash manga).

There's a plethora of characters, lots of oddballs and a few squicky sleazes. There's the man with erectile dysfunction and his bored, super jealous wife. This story goes quickly from laughs to a shallow ... feh ... but with a bizarrely touching conclusion which is nonetheless soured by the somewhat conclusion of what I see is the main story -- the call girl and the cosmetics salesman. Ahh, Ikuta Toma (feeling the love hearts floating?) seriously, though, I think there's a lot of tension between them. It's cute and he's adorkable, and the charming Candy is no match (and vice versa!). The other main story is about an indebted gambler hiding out with his girlfriend from his debt collectors (old Yakuza friends, no less) and there's a healthy injection of unconventional but nonetheless squeamish torture scenes, treachery and the inevitable Stockholm's Syndrome. Finally, and the flattest of all, is the man who manipulates his cabaret girl lady friend into sex with ironic and hilarious results.

Overall, it's quite entertaining. I identify with the gambler's girlfriend, Rui, if only for the love of cats. XD But onto the spoilerific stuff.

The ending. It's jarring. I know it's supposed to be slice of life, comedic irony and all that jazz, but really, having someone give up on a relationship whilst the woman is actually in a car accident is somewhat wth. It's a full circle, relating to the older couple (somewhat) but I have a hard time forgiving the director/writers to go in that kind of direction. Rui and her ex's childhood friend; you know, her somewhat kidnapper, that's hard to swallow as well. Another spoon of sugar -- or cheese, in this case -- revealing that Candi has managed to walk away from a serious car crash with a few bandages and a limp after four weeks, does not make this ending any less bitter to me. Sighbeam.

Otherwise, I do like the way some of these scenes were filmed -- when certain characters wake up, for instance, the Vaseline is working overtime, creating a nice, soft blur to everything except their face. Also enhances the unashamed romance XD. Costuming really suited each character; from the yakuza in bold black and white stripes to our dolled up, yoga-loving, germaphobe cabaret girl. I have noooo complaints about the otherwise unremarkable soundtrack. :D 

I can't work with a numeric scale so I'll just say this -- know, basically, what you're getting into. I like it but it's surprisingly unpredictable at times, like when you think you know how tall the step is but you end up falling anyway. Like life.
Mood:: tiredtired