Viewed: July 25, 2007
***.5 Very Good
This film falls into the category of "pure love", which is all the rage, now in Japan. Though the film lacks some realism and details, it is emotionally convincing. A 16 year old girl in Japan has a rare disease where exposure to sunlight can prove fatal. "Midnight Sun" is both a family drama and adolescent romance. The film moves at a very leisurely pace. I was impressed with this film, though not perfect, gets all the emotions right. Plenty of time is allowed for character development and story. The sense of isolation of the girl is quickly established. Unusual for the genre of adolescent romance, we see the involvement of the parents. The director is in touch with real feelings and situations and knows how to express them in a natural way. I felt early on in the film, it would be unique and special.
The leading character role is played by a real life musician. This is Japan, so parts of the song lyrics will not quite make sense, but somehow feel right for the individual expressing them.
Emotionally, the film succeeds very well, expressing the melancholy and isolation of the girl. The parents and best friend character are well written and acted. The use of humor is effective and helps to balance the film from becoming too sad. Near the end, the film takes a narrative leap, perhaps to save time, but I felt this weakened the film a little.
If you're a romantic and feeling based person, you will definitely enjoy this film. I know some will be cynical to this film, which is all about characters, situations and emotions, and lacks a little in realistic details. Overall, this film is better than usual for an adolescent romance-family drama story. I took this film seriously, because it realistically expresses the characters, situations and emotions. Recommended for romantic at hearts of all ages.