The Work Of Shaun Jacques

Kakera – ‘A Piece Of Our Lives’

Directed by: Momoko Ando

Starring: Hikari Mitsushima and Eriko Nakamura

Kakera is a story set in Japan showing a segment of the lives of 2 women, Haru: who is a university student that is growing increasingly dissatisfied and detached with her boyfriend (who is also two-timing her) and Riko: who is a bisexual woman working for a prosthetics company creating body parts. The main plot of the film is based around Haru’s Sexual and Social confusion when trying to choose between Riko and her lout boyfriend as her lover.  Haru’s character I think portrays the idea of a dreamy and confused student very well, the film gives a good idea of how the character is unsure of what she wants (evidenced by her unwillingness to choose between riko and her boyfriend),  but it also shows how that can annoy and anger those around her (especially Riko)

Riko’s character is certainly the more decisive of the two. She is quick to act and refuses to let chances slip by (evidenced by the 1st scene she see’s Haru) both characters self-centred viewpoints however become problematic throughout the film and is the source of several arguments throughout the film.

I was very interested by the films portrayal of explosions particularly fireworks. In one scene Haru and Riko are seen together in which they share their first kiss ‘that isn’t for friendship’ in my interpretation this scene shows fireworks to be a very romantic and a very beautiful thing and in this case a very feminine thing. One point one of the characters says the line ‘maybe it’s what a war looks like’ to give a darker sense on how it could be portrayed before carrying on with the ‘romance’ scene. In contrast the beautiful explosions of the fireworks are echoed by the dreaded sound of war in Haru’s boyfriends flat (just before possibly the most controversial moment of the film)

I did find the subject matter to be brave and some of the scenes do touch on what is acceptable in a motion picture (the gasps of shock behind me in certain scenes were sometimes more interesting than what was on screen) Without trying to spoil the plot for anybody who hasn’t seen the film, It ends on a cliff-hanger which left me slightly disappointed, particularly as it followed what I felt to be a slow build up to what I was expecting to be a big finale. However the film is only ‘A piece of their lives’ I’m sure the director only wanted to show that piece of their lives, maybe she wanted us to draw our own conclusions, maybe that’s not the point at all.

In conclusion I really enjoyed this film, there are certain scenes that I didn’t ‘get’ (what’s with the dove?) and as mentioned previously the ending left me disappointed but overall I recommend watching it. Bring on next weeks film!

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