Drowning Love – Movie Review

“What I wanted was a dazzling flash piercing through the body, enough that the eyes start spinning, enough to stop breathing, enough to tremble” (translations may vary) ― is the most beautiful line in this movie, for me that is.

Drowning Love or Oboreru Knife (溺れるナイフ), which is its original title in Japanese, is a movie adaption of a manga of the same name by George Asakura. The story is about Natsume Mochizuki , a beautiful fifteen-year old girl who models for teen magazines in Tokyo suddenly has to move to a rural town called Ukigumo.  There she meets an infamous boy, Kouichirou of the Hasegawa family, and from then on she begins to feel ‘something’ in her body like a surging wave. However, one unfortunate night changes their fate and sets a ripple of events that will lead them apart.

I had been waiting to see this movie for a long time and finally it’s now available and subbed at kissasian.com.

Truthfully, I had such big expectations for this movie, especially since the trailers looked promising. It seemed that the movie had been faithful to the original story. But of course, a manga with 64 chapters spanning the life of a girl since she was in sixth grade up to high school can only fit so much in an almost two-hour film.

I have already finished reading the manga and I am actually a fan of it. I consider it as my most favorite shoujo manga (as there is nothing to beat it yet)  since it has very well fleshed-out characters and a heroine that deviates from the norm. But I digress, this is about the movie not the manga.

Drowning Love is a film that brings audiences the flair of tension, drama, and bittersweet love. If you want a sweet teen romance, this is not what you are looking for.

THE MAIN CAST:

Nana Komatsu

The first time I saw Nana Komatsu in The World of Kanako, I believed that she would be the perfect Natsume because she had that beguiling expression that looked as if she was pulling you in within the depths of her eyes; the expression which captured the acclaimed photographer Hirono Shougo’s attention and an obsessed fan.

Nana Komatsu may have the expression on- point, however, she doesn’t have Natsume’s spunk.  She failed to portray Natsume’s confidence, stubbornness, and sometimes haughty demeanor. She appeared like other regular heroines; timid, fragile, and quiet (or maybe that’s just what movie-version Natsume is supposed to be, I don’t know). The character felt flat.

But there are also scenes where I liked Nana Komatsu’s acting, the two scenes wherein she was crying and the ending scene.

She may not have shown a stellar performance in this film but there is still room for improvement for Nana Komatsu’s acting.

Masaki Suda

Masaki Suda played as Kouichirou or Kou-chan. Unlike Komatsu, Masaki Suda has a longer list of films under his name and has been quite known for his excellent performances in playing a variety of roles and as one of Japan’s best young actors.

Before watching the movie I initially thought that Masaki Suda would be a great Kou-chan. I believed that he would be able to show why Kou-chan was an enchanting special person to the residents of Ukigumo especially to his peers.

Suda can show this fierce and arrogant expression that matched Kou-chan’s really well. Manga-version Kou-chan has this cool-I’m-bored-what-do-you-want-disdainful look in his eyes.

Kou-chan is a character who knows he is special and is not afraid to use his influence. He is rash and seems to be rather cold and unaffected by many things.  Suda was able to show how detached and dismissive his character is to other people and his surroundings but he lacked an air of authority that Kou-chan naturally exudes.

Still, Masaki Suda is a very good actor.

On a side note, I wanted Mahiro Takasugi to be casted on this role for three reasons: 1) he looks more like Kou-chan (that’s just my opinion though!), 2) his pretty boy face, and 3) I want to see him together with Nana Komatsu again.

By the way, special mention to the Ootomo in the film. He is equally as adorable as his manga counterpart. He is played by Daiki Shigeoka.

Although I’ve been saying things about how the actors’ expressions look similar to the characters they portray it’s not like actors always get casted because of their faces. What’s important is how well they act.

CINEMATOGRAPHY:

Throughout the film you will notice shots that shows what is happening from a distance. It  might be experimental on the director’s part but those type of shots are not very common in film. It would depend on the viewer’s taste whether they will like it or not. I did not particularly like it or dislike it, for me it was quite distracting. I think those shots may have worked on a different setting or sequence.

The picture below is an example of a sort of far-away shot (forgive me I don’t know any film shot terms). The sea looked as if it’s cgi to me, I’m not quite sure if it’s just because I’m watching it in high definition or maybe it really is cgi.

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Another thing is that the cuts were so abrupt and everything feels so awkward.

Just like how I’m suddenly talking about how the scene below could have been done better. (I mean there could have been more impact and this could have been shot more beautifully.)—abrupt like that.

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There are shots that I truly liked though.

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My favorite and I think the best sequence in this movie is the Fire Festival.

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The concept of the festival in the manga was cooler but the shots for this sequence was truly beautiful.

Conclusively, for me this movie is a 6 out of 10.

I may be biased because I have read the manga—and I’m telling you the manga packs much more than this movie. Even so, I have read comments from people who haven’t read the original content source saying that this is a very good movie. So if you’re curious go ahead and watch Drowning Love at http://kissasian.com/Drama/Drowning-Love.

If you are also interested about the manga you can read it here: http://www.mangahere.co/manga/oboreru_knife/. The translation hasn’t been completed yet though.

(Also it’s best to watch the movie before you read the manga, just like with book adaptations.)

So what about you? Have you watched this movie yet?

Have you read the manga too? If you have, did you like it? Was it good?

Or if you haven’t, do you want to watch it?

Do you have any opinions on my review?

Let me know by leaving your comments below.

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