Thursday, November 4, 2010

Japanese Movie review- Swing Girls

Set in present-day Japan, Swing Girls is the story of girls who meet and are deeply fascinated by jazz. The heroine is a very typical Japanese teenager. Her character is suggestive of the hidden problem of today children. She lacks any special interests or motivation and dislikes making any effort. But when she discovers jazz, she discovers something she can be absorbed in and begins to transform herself. At first, she is not able to even make a noise. But she and her friends practice and come to be able to play their instruments. They slowly come to be fond of jazz and take part in a music competition.

Swing Girls was quite popular in Japan when it was released. It stars Juri Ueno, Kanjiya Shiori, Hiraoka Yuta, Motokariya Yuika and Yukari Toyoshima.

When I started watching the movie, I was immediately hooked to it. The goofy personalities of the characters is lovable. The way everything goes wrong in the beginning when the girls go to deliver lunches to the brass band is also hilarious. But the real fun starts after that, when they practice for the brass band. One of them blows bubbles with the trumpet instead of playing it! Through practice and hard work, they start showing some promise, but when the band returns, they have to give up. Undettered, Juri Uueno decides that she will make her own jazz Big Band.

The best thing about this movie was the comedy. You can't watch this movie without laughing all the time. The humour was what I loved the most about this movie and what kept me watching. The actors don't act too well which was one weak point. I have seen better from Juri Ueno in Nodame Cantabille. The actor (Hiraoka Yuta) seems too lost throughout the movie. I guess it is because this movie was a very early work of many of these artists and they have become better now.

The jazz instrumentals that they play in the end are quite nice and I love their body language which makes jazz seem more interesting. Their interpretation of jazz as loud and cheerful opposed to slow and melancholy shows the energy of youth.

Overall a great movie to watch and well worth its popularity.




Pros- Humour
Interesting characters

Cons- Poor acting

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