Friday, March 3, 2017

Tokyo Fiancée (2014) Belgium

Easy to love other culture, but proving it isn't.

Biography, Comedy, Drama, Romance.

Approximately 6-minute read.

     It's very common in the western films about interracial romance, mainly because it's happening and that's how the societies are made, particularly the North America. And it's not same when you seek similar themed films from the east. It is a less explored concept as far I know. Even this one is a Belgium film that entirely takes place in Japan.

     I like this kind of film. It helps to realise what are all kinds of complications we could face in the same situation. In fact, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you would know that I'm too a Japanophile, as well as Francophile. So this film is both of them. It's a cross culture, but fun to experience, especially if you adore that culture as much as your own life.

     This film was about a young Belgian woman named Amelie, who actually was born in Japan, but later in her childhood she had returned to native along with her parents. Now in her 20s, she came back for the love she has for Japan. The first thing she does was advertising about her private French tutorial. Then she gets a student, a young Japanese fellow who already somewhat knows the language. They roam the city, experience the culture and society, and picks up the words, which is translated to French as part of learning/teaching.

     As expected, they fall in love and that's where the trouble arises. Because it's not America, where a Japanese man and a French woman has no complications, particularly culturally. But here the cultural significance stands between them. The language of romance is universal, but how to express it in behaviour is a series of obstacle.

     Amelie loves everything about Japan, even she climbs Mr Fuji to be a true Japanese and it helps her to rediscover herself in the tough time. Yet she finds a little hard to adapt the way of Japanese lifestyle. Possibly in every single thing. From raw food to falling in love, meeting her future in-laws, getting engaged and all.

 A real Japanese has to climb Mt Fuji. 

     I thought the film would be in the line of 'My Darling is a Foreigner', but it was like 'Amélie' and 'Citizen Dog'. It's more a girlish kind of film, but can be enjoyed by all category adult audiences. The character Amelie is similar to those two titles from the above I mention. You will like her, probably fall for her. The film looks beautiful mainly because of her, the actress who played it was the backbone of the film. When everything was going quite nicely, then all the sudden an unexpected conclusion emerges. I really did not like it.

     My first reaction was, how could possibly they ruin this beautiful film with such a bad end. I thought the writer failed to come up with something to make a better climax. I was disappointed with the finale, but my stance changed when I learnt it was a biopic, which I did not know earlier. Yep the film was based on the autobiographical book of the same name.

     The story sets in around the time Fukushima nuclear disaster, but the problem is the dates does not match, as the book came years earlier. Anyway, that event has a big influence to this tale to wrap up. So when a film is based on the real, I like as it is than any alteration. From the outside, it looks like 'Before Sunrise', but there are lots of differences.

     What this film teaches us is, it's easy to love other cultures, but proving isn't. There should be lots of sacrifices to be made, especially if is a relationship, not love found in the culture as an individual person. The film was very enjoyable. You can learn many things about Japan through the film.

     The casting was excellent and so the locations. Probably a bit underrated film, as well as not recognised widely. Those who saw it, considering it from the entertainment perspective, but most them are not aware that it was inspired by the real. I think it is worth a watch, especially if you love Japan and its culture, definitely not to be missed.

Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All

Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent

Similar movies:
Amélie, Citizen Dog, Russian Dolls, Outsourced, My Darling is a Foreigner.

External link(s):

WCA geolocation:
Right now we're in

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