Nada Sou Sou

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Director: Nobuhiro Doi (Be With You)
Starring: Satoshi Tsumabuki (Waterboys), Masami Nagasawaé (Crying Out Love from the Centre of the World)
RunTime: 120 mins
Genre: Drama (Japanese)
Rating: PG

"Nada Sou Sou" means "never-ending tears" in the Japanese Okinawa dialect, but do not expect much tears from this movie.

Yes, people expect to cry buckets just like Japanese films Crying Out Love and Be With You. Perhaps audiences are already spoilt with the proliferation of Korean tearjerkers.

The premise of this movie is very 'Korean', reminiscent of Autumn in My Heart – A brother-sister relationship (not related of course, not incestuous), the struggles of love, filmed at scenic spots by the countryside. It drew light chuckles, with the all-so-familiar scene of little brother carrying the sister on the back along the beach (Music please).

The movie is based on Rimi Natsukawa’s hit song Nada Sousou in 2001 (made popular in Singapore by Joi Chua’s Pei Wo Kan Ri Chu). However, a story of a young man falling in love with his step sister is nothing new. In fact, some of the subplots seems borrowed from other movies (Gigolo Wannabe, Crying Out Love). With a straight narrative like this, nobody needs to tell you what happens in the end. No, it is not cancer, though.

The main charm in the movie has to be the lead Satoshi Tsumabuki, last seen in Fast and The Furious. His sunshine personality and endearing smile would captivate most girls, and this is someone you can bring home to your mother with. No doubt, this movie will propel him to greater star status.

His sister is cute in her own way, too cute perhaps. As she shrieks "NEE NEE" (brother) repeatedly at the top of her voice, you wish she was a mute sister.

The characters are told to control the tears in the movie (through a light pinch on the nose). The director paints a rather optimistic and sanguine picture throughout, probably suggesting that this is meant to be a light romance piece, and may disappoint those expecting more. The appeal is in its subtlety.

Keep your tissues.

Nada Sou Sou – This subtle Japanese love story may be So-So for those spoilt by Korean tearjerkers.

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