a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Wararaifu!! / ワラライフ!! / Wonderful Life!!

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Wararaifu!! is a sentimental coming of age story that feels like it was directed by an extraterrestrial. It follows, in cliché style, formal cinematic technique  – alternating between the contemporary prevails of its likeable but confused hero, Suichi (Jun Marakami) and flashbacks to his youth. However, most of these connections, at best, make no sense, and mostly serve as a sort of filler for a rather dull story of a young man trying to develop a modicum of commitment and responsibility. It’s as if director Yuichi Kimura has seen some films in his life (in fact he’s had bit parts in several), but never understood that the actions characters take should build up to an understandable and meaningful development of plot. Instead there are a series of disjointed scenes of a kid growing up – beach going, having a teen-aged run-in with the law, finding an abandoned puppy, losing it, playing catch and more – that are never allowed to exist beyond being syrupy signifiers of “youth.” As the clichés build, Wararaifu!! falls into something less than wonderful.

Originally published in EL Magazine, February 2011

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

January 13, 2011 at 1:52 am

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