DVD Ekurêru: Okashi hourouki

DVD Ekurêru: Okashi hourouki
DVD Ekurêru: Okashi hourouki

Run time: 107 min
Rating: 4.0
Genres: Drama
Director: Akio Kondo
Writers: Shigeru Nishimura, Nobuko Nishii
Stars: Saori, Kazutaka Yoshii, Akinori Andô
Plot Keywords: two word title
Country: Japan
Release Date: 31 August 2012 (Taiwan)
Box Office
Budget: $1,500,000 (estimated)

1 Comment

  1. One thing that is very apparent when watching Japanese film 'Eclair' is that this is very much a TV movie. The writing, directorial style, acting, look and feel of 'Eclair' are all very much designed to be watched on a small screen rather than a silver one.

    Young Akira is an orphan, sent to a strict reform school where he is subjected to abuse from sycophantic teachers on a daily basis. His sole escapes are his dreams of eating sweets that he shares with young, female teacher, Yoko. Adopted by a sour old woman, he is again abused daily, but in a slightly nicer way and starts working at a local cinema in Tokyo.

    However, life is still not peachy, and Akira runs away, joining a travelling performance troupe, but again finds himself alone when the troupe is disbanded with the outbreak of war. He then leads a band of young orphans that try and scrimp and save on the war-torn streets; all the while, dear, sweet Yoko searches for him, before eventually they are reunited.

    Much like a chocolate eclair, 'Eclair' is sweet, perhaps a little too sweet, much like an eclair. In what is quite like a Stewart Lee description of a 'tragic lives' supermarket-bought toilet book, Akira's life is full of sadness and misery, with the all important dreams of sweets the one thing keeping him going. There is far too much melodrama , far too much sentimentality in the acting and direction and far too many coincidences, convenient plot devices and unbelievable character motivations. Akira's life keeps going from bad to worse, to make it so much more enjoyable to see it go from good to better by the film's conclusion.

    All-in-all, this is something sweet, simple and made to be enjoyed by housewives watching daytime television. In that sense, 'Eclair' almost seems the perfectly marketed film, satisfying the Japanese department store liking of all things sweet and overtly packaged in pure aesthetics. The conclusion of the modern day descendant of Akira and Yoko working in her stylised bakery furthers this.

    Being a thirty-something, British male, this film probably isn't aimed at me, but by the end, you can't help but feel disgustingly entertained. 'Eclair' is too sickly sweet and isn't good for you, but like a sickly sweet desert, you find it enjoyable, in a dirty, hateful way.


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