Taiyô no uta (2006) Poster

(2006)

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9/10
Heartwarming, charming, funny and sad
danjakubik25 July 2007
"Midnight Sun" 2006 Japan

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.
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9/10
Taiyo no uta is an AWESOME Movie!!!
Sandpiper-N121PP26 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
If you love a nice silly/serious romantic movie... you will probably love this movie. It is all about a young girl with a rare skin condition that will not allow her to go out into the sun. Instead she is left with a life of being awake in the night and staying in the dark corners of her house during the day. At night she will go and play her guitar out in her favorite spot to enjoy being outside for awhile. Sometimes she just stays in and watches this young man from her window. When she finally gets the up the courage to go and see him... both her and his world are changed forever. True romance blossoms but there are changes that must happen to make it work. If you get the chance to see this movie... do not turn it down for it is so very beautiful and romantic. Even though it is short by modern day standards... it will leave a great impression on you for years to come! :)
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10/10
the perfect movie
mirutamarisen15 November 2006
not only because it felt like a real story, its so touching, that moved my guts, for me it felt so real, one of the things is for example the way she acts so naturally like a mad teenager; because she has that sickness, but then she changes her mind and becomes to believe that is better to live and love, to enjoy your time in earth than to be always regretting the fact of your sickness,whats amazing is that she never gives up, besides she is a great actress and singer, it kinda made me envied her for having such talents and opportunities unlike, well anyways I recommend this movie you will really feel a touch of life with this one, it will make you grateful for been alive and healthy. besides she adorable and he is so cute 2 .

to thumbs up!!!!!
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8/10
A Nutshell Review: Midnight Sun
DICK STEEL10 December 2006
I'm a sucker for romances of such nature, and I thought romances usually fall broadly under two categories - one bearing films like Midnight Sun, and the other being romantic comedies. It's a sweet love story between a busker with a great voice, and an unskilled surfer dude. It's a tale about a love with an end date put on it, and it makes you wonder if it's only with an end in sight, that you try and make the most our of everything, rather than to waste time and take things for granted.

Japanese singer Yui plays Kaoru, a girl inflicted with a rare disorder, which makes her nocturnal. She cannot go out in the sun as the UV rays will wreck havoc on her skin and kill her, and so, from birth, has been kept indoors most of the time, and let out an night to allow her to do what she loves most - busking at a secluded corner at her neighbourhood. She has a crush on Koji (Takashi Tsukamoto), a surfer dude, an average guy with an average life. Each night, she observes him, without his knowledge, from her bedroom window, until one day when she picks up enough courage to make the first move.

Welcome to the world of Japanese romance movies once again, where beautiful cinematic shots are used to enhance locales and make them so integral in the story. Where love is saccharine sweet, and the leads oh-so-beautiful. The songs too, written and sung by Yuri, grows on you, and I won't be surprised if the soundtrack for the movie is selling like hot cakes.

What I thought raised the movie to a different level, is how parents are involved. Usually, in most romances, the parents are out of the picture. Here, they are so very much part of the entire set up, and while they do take the backseat at times, there're scenes dedicated just for the parents, and especially the father figure. It's always especially painful to see your child suffer under an incurable disease, and as a parent, incapable of lifting a finger to help, because you just can't, definitely hurts. Here, the melodrama works full steam, but I thought it was a nice touch to be inclusive of those who always provide unconditional love - parent to child.

Clocking at two hours, the initial pacing is a bit slow when establishing characters and premise, but once that's done, the movie's a breeze. It's an excellent date movie, so guys, take your lady love to this movie, and of course, Yui is opportunity for you to ogle ;-) Remember to bring those tissues!
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10/10
Simple, bittersweet, and a breath of fresh air
trek_kie14 July 2011
Rating: 9.5 (rounded up to 10) In a film industry full of similar "sick girl" films, there was a certain something to Taiyou no Uta (Midnight Sun) that made me come back to it again and again. That little something, as I discovered, turned out to be the rare, extra dosage of realism the movie brings to audiences.

Films with so many conflicting emotions tend to feel cheapened out by the conclusion, whether it's because the director chooses to purposely ignore or skip through vital elements of the movie or by introducing a deus ex machina. Thankfully, Taiyou no Uta does neither. Circumstances and how the plot is executed feel remarkably genuine, as is most of the acting. For example, the director chooses to provide the parents of the lead actress with prominent roles; rare but all the more believable. Dialogue between lead actress and lead actor are also convincing, and most importantly, nothing feels rushed.

If any film could be said to be dependent on 1 actor/actress, Taiyou no Uta would be a strong contender. That's not to say the other actors can be disregarded, in fact one might even contend Takashi Tsukamoto and Goro Kishitani as Koji Fujishiro and Kaoru's father, respectively, did a better job than YUI as Kaoru Amane. However, YUI simply overshadows them with her sheer talent as a musician.

YUI, a real-life artist, plays her role convincingly, especially so for a debut actress. However where she truly shines is when she sings. Watching her pour out her heart singing whilst playing a guitar (or without one later in the movie) is a sight hard to tear your eyes off of, and was, at least for me, the most memorable scenes in the movie. In a way, Taiyou no Uta without YUI would be similar to Superman without Christopher Reeves: imaginable, but surely worse off.

Despite the film's slow pacing at the beginning, the film feels much shorter than the listed 2 hours. In an almost irrevocable way, the movie draws you in and builds up for the tear-jerking finish. Thankfully, the film lacks the surplus of melodramatics so often used to finish movies such as this. The movie concludes surprisingly quick, but simply and bittersweet - a heartfelt emotion, and all the more surprising that such a simple ending could cause so many emotions.

All in all, a recommended film primarily for romantics, but I daresay anyone from any demographic would enjoy it. Watch this film for a breath of fresh air, and remember if you're the sentimentalist, to bring along a box (or boxes) of tissue.
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9/10
A pleasant surprise
eng9003122 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
When looking at the movie poster, I was preparing to expect another one of those extremely sappy, corny Japanese love/romance films. The pace was slow for the first 10 mins or so, something perhaps viewers would take note of to allow them to absorb the general feel of the surrounding. ie. in a quiet, small laid-back, seaside Japanese town and the weaving of the plot slowly into the picture. But what surprised me is that the film is extremely honest, believable and heartrending at the end. It kind of made you believe somewhere out there someone is living such a life. Still, it evokes mixed emotions within me as I was watching the plot unfolds. Perhaps it was the slow pace of development of the story that made it seem so real a story as it allows for natural progression of humour (when the female protagonist (a creditable performance by Yui) is still pining for Koji) into sweet, saccharine love (when they were in a relationship), to the relationship's inevitable conflict and its rather touching resolution and finally to a sad, tragic ending. And before you knew it, you'd be wishing Kaoru was still alive in the film at the end. In short, the movie excellent evokes powerful emotions that makes it a perfect emotional roller-coaster ride in the 2 hours of screen time.
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7/10
Taiyou no uta
andrea_10097 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Taiyou no uta is your almost typical story of boy meets girl, wherein girl is dying of some rare disease and boy who had no idea she existed before, hatches up a plan to make her dreams come true.

Kaoru (played in a very cute way by Yui), suffers from a skin disease wherein she can't go out to the sun. She sings at night and alone. She spots a guy who surfs and meets him at the train tracks one night, and thus begins their cutsey love story.

What makes this movie appealing is that Yui, the lead protagonist, is a singer in real life, and her songs bring life to the movie. I can't deny that the male protagonist is also very appealing and they both fit into their roles...the setting is lovely, shots of beaches and surfing and the idyllic areas that surrounded them...it fit like a glove...

however, i felt that this movie was an hour and something music video for YUI alone, for if Yui did not sing, then this would turn out to be a truly typical Japanese melodramatic movie.

personally, i like YUI, and that's what made this movie appealing for me...see it for yourself. the cuteness can get to you.
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8/10
movie or music video???
kewlsmurf29 November 2006
quite nice movie although some parts it was quite slow moving and there was no lines, just them staring into space...the 3 songs i think sang by YUI in real-life as well as in the movie was great and suited the movie character of a street singer, it just felt to me like a MV sometimes...the movie was prodding along rather nicely but it might be slow for some not suited to Japanese-style of movies but the ending was rather quickly-done to avoid the sappiness and sadness i guess. The acting by YUI was credible considering she is a singer by profession and when she starts singing, it really shines and she really captivates the entire cinema when she does that. It doesn't help that she sings the whole song and GOODBYE DAYS was played more than once. Add to that the other 2 songs, SKYLINE and IT'S HAPPY DAYS weren't that bad either...
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7/10
Goodbye Days/Night Song
crossbow010614 March 2010
This is a story about Kaoru (the pretty and talented actress Yui), a 16 year old girl who lives with her parents and has the condition XP, which means she could die if she is exposed to sunlight. So, every evening she goes to town square and plays songs on her guitar. Also, she watches fellow teen Koji from her window, becoming interested in him. This story is about her dealing with the illness and the relationship between her and Koji. To be sure, there are other films like this (like "A Walk To Remember"), but the film is shot with much care for its surroundings. Also, the supporting cast is good, which makes the film more compelling. Of course its somewhat sad but its also sweet. Its obviously not for everyone but its good, with the actress Yui especially being very believable in the role of Kaoru.
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6/10
Beautifully shot drama
kefahuchi8 July 2007
Overall I thought that the cinematography stole the show. The story is very moving if you allow yourself to get drawn into it; though I should say I watched it in two sittings and I imagine many will find it too much of a drag to watch all at once.

I thought that the father's part made it quite interesting and elevated is above TV movie status. There is a nice balance between the older/younger perspectives which gives the film some much needed depth. Sometimes this was rather laboured (the beach scene near the end) and sometimes it worked perfectly (when he was talking with the doctor).

I'm not sure what the target audience is, it seems to be a vehicle for YUI but the incidental music is a lot better than her songs!
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5/10
Pretty bland romance, pretty bland presentation
UniqueName765 July 2007
There's few things that are memorable about Midnight Sun, I suppose if the movie's main song catches you, you will take the most from this film. Otherwise you'll be pretty bored most of the time. A girl who has some rare disease called XP, is forced to live her life at night. She often watches this one particular guy from her window as he goes about trying to learn how to surf.

The movie is quite forced, the director tries to force upon you a slow movie by extending several shots and scenes unnecessarily, there's not much depth, some decent amounts of humor though, which is nice, but overall I found it to be yet another average Asian movie, nothing more.
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9/10
Midnight Sun Shines a Bright Light on an Already Overly Familiar Storyline
Midnight Sun is a film I looked high and low for; hoping that my time spent would be well worth it. Midnight Sun will no doubt bring to mind films like A Walk to Remember, and considering there are a number of features out there that depict couples where one of them is gravely ill, the film does indeed have a sense of predictability. Despite this, it is cute, inspiring, youthful and tender, and though there are sadder films of a similar nature out there (I'm looking at you A Millionaire's First Love), this film is still capable of making you shed a tear (or ten).

Kaoru (Yui) is a teenage girl whose main connection with the outside world is her window. She sits and stares by day at the lives of those outside, unable to join them because of a rare genetic disorder that makes a case of bad sunburn the least of her worries. The feature packs in enough information about her condition to help us understand its severity, and makes Kaoru even more sympathetic.

The relationship Kaoru has with her parents (played by Goro Kihitani and Kuniko Asagi) is a distant one, not least because of their peripheral role. This is a shame considering how entertaining they are. By day, her parents work, and even when they are home, Kaoru feels some resentment, for being denied the same opportunities as her peers, while also treating them like her best friends (which may remind viewers of the Korean film ...ing).

Though her friend Misaki (Airi Toriyama) stops by often to talk about school, Kaoru's main joy is the night, when she can go out and busk, Yui's vocal and guitar skills been an incredible joy to watch. Though both she and Jamie Sullivan are ill and musically talented, the resemblance ends there, Kaoru longing not only for normality, but for love.

Every day, Koji (Takashi Tsukamoto) a teenage boy, walks by Kaoru's window, his life, regardless of how plain he modestly makes it seem, filling her with a deep desire to meet him. Though stuck at home for most of her life, Kaoru demonstrates how confident she is when she chases after him one evening when they happen to meet, resulting in an awkwardly cute and enjoyably humorous moment. Her lack of experience talking with boys makes for a bad first impression, though it's clear when they meet again that Koji has been smitten.

Despite her condition, Kaoru maintains a healthy degree of confidence, she and Koji inspiring one another to see each other's talents. Though the leads are young, there is no denying their acting chops in this coming of age film about identity, sacrifice, love and maturity. Though the audience is constantly aware of Kaoru's condition, the film does not burden us with constant reminders, instead allowing the love story to blossom, while Kaoru's battle slowly becomes the highlight of the narrative.

Themes like jealousy, cynicism or rage are not present, the film, despite its content, focusing more on beauty than anything else, which makes for an enjoyable two hours. Music plays a strong role in the film, and when not been serenaded by Yui's voice, the strings of violins are being plucked to create an emotional score that fits perfectly with the drama.

Though I could add the film does little in the way of making new content, considering we are all well versed in the story of boy meets girl; boy falls for girl; boy finds girl is sick, Midnight Sun does this in such a way that the familiar story still feels fresh and entertaining. Perhaps sometime next year the film will get the extra attention it deserves with the arrival of the American remake.
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4/10
Bad Knock Off of A Walk to Remember
filudg905 July 2007
I got bored the first 30 minutes of the movie...to be frank, I could let myself finish this movie. It would be a waste of my time. I actually tried finishing this movie because it got such good reviews, but the better part of me kept me from it. If you don't get bored easily and are persistent watch this movie. She sings so much that basically it could be her concert. Ever notice that all her music videos are like this...yeah, not hard for her to do this movie. The guy that was supposed to be her love interest was so UGLY. He even had wrinkles he was so old. There are minutes of silence at a time. I began skipping parts during the first couple of minutes. Sometimes, it just shows her staring off into space and thats about it until four minutes later she starts moving her arm or something. Anyway, in short this movie sucked.
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