Nana is a Japanese film based on the Manga cartoon by Ai Yazawa. Filmed in 2005 and Directed by Kentaru Otani, Nana is the story of two girls who coincidentally meet on the train and happen to share the same name but couldn’t be more different. While Nana Osaki is perceived as an ambitious rocker girl who seems to never lose her cool and dreams of making it big in Tokyo, Nana Komatsu is a bubbly light hearted student who just wants to enjoy being in love.
Having never read the Manga cartoon, I came upon this piece with no pre-formed ideas of what to expect. What initially drew me to this film was the fact that my favorite Japanese actor Kenichi Matsuyama makes an appearance in the film. Although his role was small, it didn’t stop me from enjoying this film.
There is an air of romance and rock in this movie, and I personally believe this is a film worth sharing. The movie is set with little to almost no OST, aside from the music played by the bands in the movie, which gives each mood something of a raw feeling, as if you are set right there in the moment along with the characters. There’s not an overabundance of extra noises that tend to separate the audience and the characters.
While the movie might have a slow beginning, the two protagonists are interesting enough to compel viewers to keep watching. The rocker girl doesn’t try to act too cool and the bubbly girl isn’t over the top to the point of annoyance. Also, the unlikely relationship between the two is intriguing. One can hardly believe the two get along so well almost as if they were two halves of each other waiting to be reunited. The chemistry between the two actresses is quite remarkable.
I do not want to hype this film up too much, there were a few places in the film that didn’t set well with me. The Rocker Nana is supposedly to have this remarkable singing voice and although she is played by a famous J-pop star, it isn’t quite showcased that well in the film. And it almost seems as though the two girls get along too well. The relationship might have seemed more meaningful if there was a small amount of friction between the two that they overcame.
Overall, I personally enjoyed this film and I would recommend it to anyone. With a light storyline and mood, this movie would be great to watch with friends or alone on a lazy Sunday afternoon or a day of bonding with some close friends.
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