Title : Bandage The Movie
Country : Japanese
Released : 2010
Directed : Shunji Iwai & Takeshi Kobayashi
Starring : Jin Akanishi, Kii Kitano, Ayumi Ito.
Okay, I have to admit. I’ve been quite a J-dorama addict lately. Whenever I finish with one series, I move on to searching for the next one to kill time and laze around with. Well, most of the time I use these dramas and or movies to accompany me while I do my handicrafts until late at night especially on the weekends. Some drama serials and movies were so-so. But some actors’ performances keep me craving for more. Then I find myself searching for other movies they’ve played in.
I’m a heterosexual girl, so of course my interests would be the likes of Jin Akanishi (Anego), Narimiya Hiroki (Yankee-kun to Megane-chan), and Satoshi Tsumabuki (Orange Days). If you’re not a jdorama fan, you might not have heard of these hot handsome young men. But if you are, come, come and lets worship them and pray for their growth in the entertainment biz not only in Japan but globally. For what other reasons than getting to see more and more of them in the future. *drools*
Jin Akanishi, who’s movie I’m about to review is well climbing up the international celebrity ladder. This former Kat-Tun boyband lead member (of Johny’s Entertainment), wrote in his US & World Twitter account, –yes, he owns two accounts. one for Japanese for his homeland fans and one for his international fans in which he tweets mostly in English– that he is currently in London filming Carl Erich Rinchs”47 Ronin’ with Keanu Reeves (hubba! hubba!) and Ms. Shibasaki Kou (Orange Days). He also just finished Yellow Gold Tour 3010 across the US for his solo album.
With such fan base, Shunji Iwai a talented young director (Love Letter, 1995) couldn’t have chosen a better lead role for his movie “Bandage” (2010). A movie set in 1990s Japan where indie bands had to enter festivals to be seen and hopefully hit it big. Akanishi co-stars with Kii Kitano (Halfway, 2008) who plays a your ordinary schoolgirl who gets tickets to see Akanishi’s Band, Bandage perform live and with the twist of sheer luck get backstage passes and even get invited to hang-out with the band afterwards. After which her teenage life will be changed forever.
Since this is a movie about the indie band scene, it would only be fair to present the audience with enjoyable catchy music, and for this Iwai was lucky to have Takeshi Kobayashi (New York, I Love You – 2009) to co-direct and compose the music for this flick. A self-titled single called Bandage, sung by Jin Akanishi hit the top of Japanese music charts following the release of the movie catching Akanishi’s fans with something called ‘Olympus Fever’. Akanishi’s deep raspy voice fit well with the moody character he plays, as Natsu the lead vocal of Lands the bands name.
Asako (Kitano) soon finds herself entangled in the ups and downs of Lands whose songs are rapidly touching the hearts of more and more fans. Asako also has a run-in with the no-nonsense band manager Yukari (Ayumi Ito) who thinks love interests will only wreck the band, but with a clever move by Natsu they soon become more like co-managers of the band. Things seem to be climbing uphill what with their single ‘Genki’ (Healthy) hitting number one, but soon become a blurr when two talented members, namely Yukiya the guitarist (Kengo Kora) and Arumi the arranger/keyboardist (Yuki Shibamoto) don’t seem satisfied with the catchy generic songs they seem to be producing and are considering offers from major labels, threatening the band to break up.
The movie is supposed to be set in the 1990s, you could see they’ve done quite a good job with the wardrobe and the setting. One thing that caught my eye was that they used the same apartement + garage as the movie “Akihabara Deep The Movie” (2006). And to increase the late 20th century feel, Iwai used both hand held camera and a fixed steady camera to shoot the scenes. Hand held for scenes in Natsu’s apartment, band rehearsals and backstage, while steady cameras were great for shooting the band during festivals to get their interaction with the audience.
As if trying to make an indie feel of the movie, the storyline is quite loose and gives the audience room for their own interpretation of the ending. Like most Japanese movies do.
So if you’re bored because none of the major summer blockbusters will be heading our way, it would do no harm to enjoy this flick on YouTube, here.