Hidamari no Kanojo (陽だまりの彼女)
Synopsis: A new salesman named Kosuke Okuda happens to meet Mao Watarai, a friend from his middle school days. Back then, Mao was called stupid and bullied, but now she is an attractive woman. Kosuke and Mao fall in love and decide to marry, but Mao has a secret. The type of secret that may endanger her relationship with Kosuke right before they get married. ~~~ Based on the novel “Hidamari no Kanojo” by Osamu Koshigaya.
Genre: Romance, fantasy
Director/scriptwriter: Takahiro Miki/ Kosuke Mukai
Casting: Matsumoto Jun, Ueno Juri, Suda Masaki, Tamayama Tetsuji, Aoi Wakana etc….
What a strange but yet beautiful story! I was far from thinking that Hidamari no Kanojo would have such unusual plot -despite having vaguely seen that fantasy would be involved in the plot. I don’t even know where to start. I think I liked this movie overall…I was just not completely satisfied by it. I have this feeling that it could have been even better with a bit more work.
The romance felt somehow real even thought it was mixed with fantasy and the main characters had a really sweet chemistry together (and damn Matsumoto Jun! I will never get tired of your good looks and sweet acting). I wouldn’t have been against more scenes together (and kisses) thought. That would have made their romance even more unforgettable, in my opinion. But I guess we can’t have everything. The casting was perfect either it was the young version of the character (I really loved Aoi Wakana’s performance as the young Mao) or the older one. The pace of the movie was rather slow I admit, and that could have been felt as a slight note, but I was too curious to see how it would end to fall into boredom (>>>SPOILER- even though you come to guess pretty quickly the true nature of Mao. I think that point was actually a bit of a shame. The movie could have been even better if they had played on the element of surprise -SPOILER<<<). I’m not too much into fantasy normally but here I liked the subject they exploited. I’m really into legends and this story perfectly matched my taste.
What was funny was how I- and probably most of the people who saw the movie- automatically came to analyse Mao’s character after discovering the truth about her (that’s what saved the movie to my eyes). She was well-written. All the details about her were thoroughly thought, either it was her name, her behaviour, her dialogue (>>>SPOILER- about fishes -SPOILER<<<) etc…That’s what I loved about Hidamari no Kanojo: even though the story wasn’t that thrilling it offered other point of interest in term of writing. The only thing that took me aback and disappointed me for a bit was Kosuke’s reaction once he learnt the truth. His reaction was pretty justified but for me it was nonetheless too quick. They should have made him discover Mao’s true nature a bit earlier and made the pill harder to swallow (>>>SPOILER- I mean who would be okay to learn that his wife is actually a cat? Even though he fell in love at first sight of that little cat-that is to say her- he had saved when he was a child, she remained nonetheless non-human…plus she lied to him– SPOILER<<<). Otherwise the movie’s making was damn beautiful. The shot in the forest, in Enoshima and the soft colours used through the whole movie reinforced even more the beauty of the film.
If you want to see a sweet but unusual romance, this movie is made for you. If you don’t like slow pace movie where everything is rather predictable, you might prefer to go on your way (even though I still think it would be a damn shame to miss such beautiful and peaceful movie).
Note de Dushbadou: 8/10
Note finale: 8/10