|Index||3 reviews in total|
I knew nothing about this film, "Give It All," when I bought it except that it was a Fuji Television production, and I was quickly learning that Fuji TV makes quality movies. As it turns out now, "Give It All" is one of my favorite films. The photography is beautiful and the sound track is the perfect enhancement to this wonderful story, a story that takes us into the awkward world of a High School girl who wants to start a rowing team for girls. The emotions are genuine, the acting superb, and I suspect that the screenwriter must have lived the events depicted in this film since this is a subject one would never expect to see in a movie. It is funny and sad and inspiring and wonderful. I'm glad I bought it, and my friends and relatives enjoy the copies I got for them, too. (This review is regarding the vcd version of this movie with English subtitles.) The entire family will enjoy this movie, and now, I am going to go watch it once again.
Produced by the SHALL WE DANCE-team (Shoji Masui and it's director Masayuki Suo), the movie won 25 awards on film festivals in 1998. The English title of GANBATTE IKIMASSHOI is GIVE IT ALL. This summons the philosophy of it's protagonist, a school girl who manages to build up a successful rowing team in spite of certain defeats and her own illness. In meditative shots, repeating the rowing efforts of the girls again and again, we begin to hope for the happy end of the story. Rena Tanakas charm as Etsuko is a bit rough, still she earned 11 awards as best newcomerin herself. The topic is not of common interest as the dancing theme in SHALL WE DANCE was. Still this is a quiet and convincing movie for the young and the old and a role model for school children's activities.
I absolutely love this movie. Who can't identify with Etsuko, a teenager
overshadowed by a brilliant older sister, ignored by her parents, and
derided by her teachers? Yet nothing will crush her strong spirit. Even
anemia and back problems she manages to form a competent girl's rowing team
in her school.
The other characters are not quite as strongly developed, but they all struggle and grow in the film. I was rooting for them all the way. The end of the movie was just perfect, too. There is nothing contrived or mawkish about this movie at all - it's simply wonderful!
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