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Ziver Armagan Acil,
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A fascinating, yet oddly subdued and tranquil film...
Ishikawa Hiroshi first struck a cord with Japanese audiences with his eye-catching and haunting TV commercials (CM) for such Japanese products as Kirin Lemon. "Tokyo.Sora" is his first foray into theatrical film making and it is like his commercials, quite inventive if not mesmerizing. Those expecting an atypical, Japanese teen melodrama, tear-jerker or slice-of-life travelogue of Tokyo may either be pleasantly surprised or immensely frustrated by Ishikawa's non-conventional and almost subdued style of storytelling. "Tokyo.sora" plays almost like a documentary as it follows the lives of six very "ordinary" Tokyo gals as they each attempt to live their lives in the heart of Tokyo. Their lives are mundane, uneventful and even at times boring but somehow Ishikawa manages to get us interested enough in their individual stories. While we never get to know their names, they represent a unique and interesting cross-section of the young Japanese population (Girl 1) A Taiwanese student living in Japan trying to master the Japanese language while working part-time as an Art Class model. (Girl 2) A bespectacled 25 year old girl making a living handing out complimentary tissue packets around the streets of Tokyo (Girl 3) A young college student who is just starting to begin a relationship with a fellow classmate, while also trying to come to terms with certain `body image' issues (Girl 4) A young waitress at a coffee shop who is in a one-sided love relationship with her handsome boss (Girl 5) A young aspiring hairdresser who moonlights as a Drinking Companion at a local bar and (Girl 6) a girl in her late 20s who also works as a Drinking Companion but aspires to be novel writer. While these girls never actually meet or become close friends, they cross paths and pass each other along the way, as they each try to battle loneliness under a constant blue/gray Tokyo skyline. Audiences who enjoyed Sofia Coppola's equally subdued `Lost In Translation' may find this film a good companion piece as it covers similar issues of finding one's identity and self. While not as interesting as the enjoyable `Bounce No Ko-Gals' or as outrageous as `Suicide Club', `Tokyo.Sora' is a fascinating (if not somewhat mundane) look at the lives of ordinary girls in Tokyo trying to make a living and deal with issues that are surprisingly universal no matter what city you live in.
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