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9/10
Definitely worth watching around the world.
Seino21 January 2013
What is it about About the Pink Sky that attracts me?

About the Pink Sky has everything that's important in an entertainment film: proper development of new and original characters. Izumi, a high school girl who reviews newspaper articles, has the quality of those teenagers in films like Shunji Iwai's Hana to Alice or Typhoon Club by Shinji Somai. I was engaged by the character. Some would say the story is mundane; no fascinating events happen in the film. However, in this film the story is not so important—nor is black and white. New character is what's necessary, such as in John Ford's films, where peculiarity creates character.

The film succeeds with its portrayal of the teenager. Family and teachers disappear, similar to Iwai and Somai's style. The story begins when Izumi finds a wallet with 300,000 yen inside on the road. She decides not to return it. She lends money to an acquaintance, then spends more for her friends in a cafe. One day, her friend Akemi notes that the wallet's owner, Sato, is actually a cool guy, so she is obligated to return the wallet as soon as possible. Her purpose is then to see Sato. Izumi is now involved with her friend and Sato.

About the Pink Sky indulges into the insight of a Japanese director. He destroys stereotypes with fascinating characters. For example, why do Japanese ask "How old are you?" for the first time? To understand "your position:" if you're 28 years old, you're a salesman, not a university student. In other words, assumptions are important. You listen carefully to what Izumi says, and then you have to listen carefully for the answer. Izumi brings hope for future directors in Japan. There are some other hopefuls presently. Keichi also tries to destroy stereotypes through new characters. This is through a style of entertainment that doesn't use force.

Why are we impressed by Jaws, Back to the Future, or Batman? What did we get from those films? They all have a dark present and hopeful future. About the Pink Sky is the same. I'm excited to see the truth of entertainment films appearing in Japan.
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8/10
Delightful, Thoughtful, and Beautiful
ddmcd-3425022 May 2018
Ever since my own kids were young I have been drawn to films that don't treat teenagers like idiots. A Wrinkle in Time is one such film. About the Pink Sky is another.

It must be challenging for directors to walk the line with characters that balance childhood behavior with the actions of adults. Most teenagers aren't just big children. At the same time they are not just little adults. Portraying this grey area of adolescence requires skill.

This film succeeds in finding the right balance. The director has chosen a complex story fraught with moral ambiguity and frames it in the relationships of three teenage girls whose friendship and behavior reflect their complicated and evolving personalities.

We are given a ringside seat to the thoughts and behavior of young Izumi Kawashima who one day discovers a wallet stuffed with money. We watch and listen as she contemplates her actions. Return it? Keep it? Share it with her friends? The wallet belongs to a rick kid and Izumi's thoughts about the possible unsavory nature of the money's source colors how she deals with the money.

Her interaction with her friends as they walk about the town are by themselves worth the price of admission. They are variously goofy, serious, contemplative, catty, conspiratorial, and laugh-out-loud funny. The seeming ease with which these young girls perform is a sight to behold, especially the complex Izumi who is portrayed masterfully by Ai Ikeda. Watch her in the long takes as she talks and thinks with herself and others. You will be impressed.

Framing this all is some of the most attractive black and white photography I can recall. Somehow the director and photographer achieve a unique balance between crisp and sharp on the one hand and soft and dreamy on the other.

There are many delightful sequences, some laugh out loud funny, some understated or subtle. One of my favorites: Izumi tries to apply online for a late night chat service to make some extra money but has to impersonate her mom since she is underage. The interview is a realtime video session so Izumi must look and act the part. Her attempt to look and behave like an adult Japanese woman is positively hilarious.

The film is almost two hours long. It takes its time. And it's well worth your time and attention.
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7/10
Finders keepers! Is that so!!
Reno Rangan24 January 2018
The modern black and white film. Probably first for me from the Japanese film. As usual I wondered why they chose it that way to make, then once watched it, actually while watching it, I realised it was so perfect tone for such narration. Because this is a teen film, but not the common one with commercial value. That does not mean it is so boring. It's still very much gives a normal cinematic experience like watching of the old film. The characters, events, all were developed constantly. So even though it ran close to two hours, thoroughly engaged that anybody can hook up with it undisturbed till the end.

Firstly the cast. Like usual, I know no one. But they all were great. Especially the lead girl. The film took time in the initial stage to give the impression what kind she's, when it comes to society. She's not a self type, but always makes the decision carefully after investigating the matter. On one such situation where this tale takes place. That one day she finds a wallet on the street with big amount in it. So like a good citizen, she decides to return, but it takes a twist, then the sum ends with someone who needed it the most.

The real twist follows after that when her other two friends come to know about it. Putting her in a tight rope walk position. After all, she decides to cope and then the tale taking many unexpected paths, till coming back to where it all had started. By that time it has been a hell of a ride for her in the past few weeks. Still, she looks to make things right, and so the narration reaches its finale by revealing the remaining thing that what has to be told.

-xX] Dirty money getting dirtier. [Xx-

Apart from the actors, the writing and direction are the next best. I totally did not expect such story. It was youthful, as well as realistic. Kind of inspires, but only to see in this film. Because of the Japanese cultural difference from the rest of the world. For their kind of mindset, when one finds a wallet full of money, their average thinking what to do with it was completely different than most of the remaining world. So such tale possible only here. Could be I'm being a Japanophile, I might find every bit related to Japan is charming. Hence saying all these.

For such a wonderful title name, the film being a black and white is a shame. Especially in the end scene. At least that part should have been colour. You would know what it is and why I said that when you watch the film. That was not the best part of the film, yet would have been a much awesomer. Coming back to the story, not completely the best script. There were too much happened in the middle sect. Even the twist was not that surprising. As well as the sentiments.

I expected the end to be as much as possible a tearjerker. But it was too realistic, and when under-developed character, plot makes into the mainstream narrative, such thing happens. I mean compromising, to end like nothing had happened. So if a few those who saw it was not satisfied, then that could be because of the way it had concluded. Not that the overall film was bad. Even though the film was long, it lacked depth on the other side.

Anyway, the film was focused from one character, so they had to keep the rest of the film same way. In a way, that's how the real life happens. So, this is a good film. I did not immediately liked it either. I think it is worth a watch, but only some people would realise that. If you are a fan of drama films, then you could be one those who might enjoy it.

7/10
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6/10
from japan... pretty good.
ksf-223 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Self Indulgent.... Ai Ikeda is Izumi, a high school teeny bopper, who finds a wallet that someone has lost. She and her school girl friends track down the owner, but only after spending a chunk of the money that was in the wallet. This one is kind of a "week in the life of a high school chick" film, from Japan. Interestingly, its in black and white, which tells us right off that this is more about personalities and characters than the events that take place. Most of the girls' chatter is inane, and repetitious blather, but i guess that's what girls that age would be saying and doing. A fun running gag where they yell things at a noise meter on the side of the road. This seems to be the first major film for writer/director Keiichi Kobayashi.Wonder if it's auto-biographical. Great editing. One really gets the feeling that these are real, silly, school girls, saying things that they would say. Apparently the first and last film for for both Tsubasa Takayama (Sato, the owner of the lost wallet), as well as for Ikeda. Entertaining, if you don't mind subtitles. it DID win awards at the film festivals. It's pretty good overall, but kind of loses steam in the second hour. Some big reveals right at the end, but some of that should have been done earlier on, so we could follow along.
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