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Shigatsu monogatari (1998)
a wonderful slow paced movie
This is not a movie for everybody. It is very slow-paced and takes a long time to establish its main characters, their behavior and their feelings to each other. The movie observes the first days of a young Japanese girl after she has moved from Hokkaido, the Japanese equivalent of Kansas, to Tokyo to attend University. At first the girl is very insecure and nervous about her new situation, but gradually she becomes more secure and falls in love with a fellow student. That's all the Plot there is, but this movie is not about a big story, it is about a person. Over the course of the movie we feel and share the girls insecurities, loneliness and finally opening up. Seldom has a movie so masterfully and with so much passion for its characters captured the problems of leaving home, being lonely in a unknown mega city and to be for the first time on one's own feet. I can fully recommend this movie for everybody who likes films about life and people, that move at life's speed.
Even for German standards a bad, bad movie
The filmakers try to copy a classic Hollywood buddy/ con movie. The outcome is simply bad, bad, bad: the plot, the music, the acting, the lightning, everything is just bad. Worst of all is the directing: obviously the movie was rushed trough principal photography without care or love by the director. Bad camera work and incredible plot holes are nothing compared to the ending which secures this `movie' a place in the movie hall of shame.