Film Review: Musicophilia (2021) by Masaaki Taniguchi

Music as a mirror of inner mayhem has been explored in a myriad of the way in movies. In “Musicophilia”,  music is given the prospect, nonetheless, to mirror the convoluted safety that the society offers to males for the sake of their so-called genius, even and particularly on the expense of ladies. This bequeaths the movie, which made its world premiere on the 2022 Asian Pop-Up Cinema, one other layer of depth, one which makes it extra memorable except for the internal demons conjured by household melodrama.

“Musicophilia” is screening at Asian Pop-up Cinema

Primarily based on the webcomic of the identical identify, the film introduces us to Saku Urushibara, an artwork pupil in Kyoto who, even when he needs to, simply couldn’t escape the world of music. He’s actually drawn to it by his newfound associates, members of the music membership in his college who pull him in to their very own eccentric and impassioned seek for singular, generation-defining music.

Participating on this journey means, nonetheless, the inevitable assembly of worlds between Saku and his older brother, Taisei Kishino, who resembles their father in additional ways in which one. The 2 was once shut after they had been younger, however the truth that Saku was the product of an affair, one which price his mom her future, made their relationship chilly, distant and estranged.

Saku was disadvantaged of the prospect to discover his personal musical genius, a present he received from his father, topnotch composer Ryu Kishino, due to this truth too. His father, alongside together with his spouse and Taisei, made certain that Saku won’t be able to hone his abilities, not even contact a piano, even at a younger age. This can feed Saku’s despise in the direction of music, however he’ll discover his strategy to it, the best way he discovered his method again to his brother and vice-versa.

Setting is an crucial a part of the movie, as situating the story in Kyoto, within the environs and gardens surrounding Kamogawa river, extends the protagonists and the characters’ infinite multisensory sources of music – there may be the flowing of the waters, the flapping of the birds’ wings, the whistling of the wind and the euphonious polyphony of on a regular basis hubbub. 

Taniguchi’s close-up photographs of those motions and the way they create music,  given extra path by the intercutting of frames, gives us a glimpse of Saku’s hyperawareness of sound. This modifying fashion locations the viewers proper inside Saku’s expertise and permits us to see what goes on in his head, of how he is ready to use this excessive notion of sonical robustness to compose music that’s richer and extra shifting than Taisei can and ever will.

The dialogue and the performing convey the spirit and the politics of the artwork world in quite simple however clear phrases, with the traces written by Hiroyuki Ono for the screenplay and Akira Saso for the webcomic laying down jarring truths. There isn’t any glossing over of how male superiors can use the unfair energy relations to make the most of youthful feminine college students, as the previous will at all times be embraced again by the sector, their misdeeds neglected and forgiven due to their artwork, whereas the latter will get stripped off their likelihood to comprehend their potential, regardless of if they’re the very best of the very best. This isn’t the one dialog that the movie triggers, because it additionally touches on how the pursuit of perfection in artwork – within the type of music, or in its different kinds, is at instances used as a license to destroy others.

The ensemble solid offers justice to the sweetness and idiosyncrasies of learning, doing and deconstructing music. Kai Inowaki as Saku shows simply sufficient vulnerability, whereas Ikusaburo Yamazaki as Taisei is as each bit as supercilious and elitist as his character calls for him to be. Nagi Ninawa, performed by Honoka Matsumoto, has sufficient chemistry with Kai’s Saku, although it’s her melodious vocals which cement her position within the movie. Shinnosuke Abe as Kanichi Aota, one of many members of the music membership, is bigger than life as he displays the unpredictable temperament of musicians, at instances nearly bordering on portraying it as caricature-ish, although his efficiency is constant sufficient that one can not assist however simply really feel enjoyment of his performing, total.

The movie is just not as adventurous in its use of varied components of manufacturing, although its theme offers it the very proper to be as absurd and radical it needs to be.It as an alternative largely tells the story in a really linear method, although using lighting within the movie’s climax brings in sudden softness and emphasizes temper shift.

“Musicophilia” honors the ethos of the phrase, with intensified curiosity in sound sparked by varied stimuli, from bodily, emotional to social. Apart from that, nonetheless, the movie encourages a more in-depth look into the completely different sides of what creating music actually means, each the nice and the unhealthy. 



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