In 1980s Kyushu, two teenagers fell in love, and exchanged their secrets and thoughts by way of sending tape recordings to each other. More than a decade later, the boy (now grown-up and bittered) rediscovers the last recording of his long-dead lover's voice. Her words trigger a series of flashbacks illustrating the joyful beginning and tragic end of their relationship.Written by
There's no doubt about it, this one is a tear-jerker, solely designed to push the buttons as hard as it can to affect the audiences emotion. Teenage love, making past wrongs right, the death of a lover, typhoons, it's all here. And what's most amazing is that, for the most part, the movie does it. Always hovering on the edge of cliché, but never tipping over, "Crying Out Love" essentially works.
The story is told in two parts, flashing back and forwards often. One involves young Sakutaro who begins a relationship with the cute as a button Aki Hirose at a time in both of their lives when puppy love is turning into something real. The second is Sakutaro about fifteen years later, trying to come to terms with the loss of that relationship which he never quite recovered from. And his new girlfriend, Ritusko has a secret.
Without giving away too much, that first story works. And, boy, does it. It is inter-cut beautifully with older Sakutaro remembering and searching for meaning. You know exactly where it's going, but the thrill is in the journey here, and it captures the explosiveness and pain of first love and the same of young loss.
The second story, however, falls apart. After the first one ends, some loose ends are left to be connected, and they are, perfunctorily and ham-fistedly. And the actual finale, while far from ruining the film, adds nothing to the emotional power of the majority of the film.
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