Posted in Fantasia 2015, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Wonderful World End Fantasia 2015 review

Wonderful_World_EndWonderful World End / ワンダフルワールドエンド / Wandafuru Warudo Endo (2015)
Director: Daigo Matsui
Screenplay: Daigo Matsui
Cast: Ai Hashimoto, Jun Aonami, Yu Inaba, Go Riju, Marie Machida

Note: The next screening is on Sunday July 26, 3pm.

From some research apparently this movie combines additional footage with existing promotional videos that were made for singer, Seiko Oomori. She does appear briefly in the film and sings horribly out of tune, although it does appear to be deliberate. As a whole, the film is about Shiori, a 17 year old aspiring model who uses Twitcast, which is a live video streaming service where commenters send comments in real time. She hopes to parlay her followers into a career but is struggling to do so. Through her Twitcast, she meets Ayumi, a 13 year old fan of hers. Although it’s awkward at first, they quickly form an obsessive friendship that Ayumi’s mother does not approve of.

There isn’t really much of a story but what the film does portray strongly is the ubiquitous use of their iphones to communicate with each other. The film visually displays their texts and emoticons on screen. The two girls are portrayed as kindred spirits with similar desires of wanting to be loved. While ultimately inconsequential, the film’s strength lies in the two young actresses who portray their characters very well. You come to care about these characters even when they are selfish at times.

There are sequences shown from the perspective of viewers of the Twitcast and while you do see their comments in Japanese on screen, these are not translated but Shiori’s speech as she reacts are translated. I wonder if non-Japanese viewers miss anything from these scenes. Traditional cinematography is also used with parts of it looking like a documentary. Towards the end of the film there are also a bit of whimsical, fantasy sequences. The mish-mash of different visuals and focus of social media in the film makes for interesting viewing. It’s worth a watch for its look at youth and social media.

Seen in the theatre at Fantasia 2015

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Author:

Longtime fan of East Asian films. Occasional guest "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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