Film Review: And So The Baton Is Passed (2021) by Tetsu Maeda

In tearjerker “And So The Baton Is Passed”, an adaptation of the eponymous hit novel by Meiko Seo, director Tetsu Maeda follows the stories of two girls and their stepparents. Yuko (bubbly and quite likable Mei Nagano) is a girl who smiles regardless of what the planet throws at her. Her doting stepfather Morimiya (Kei Tanaka in a efficiency that manages to make just about every scene really feel like a J-drama) is an effortless-going man who raises the girl just after her mother disappeared a single day. Miitan (Kurumi Inagaki) is a girl who cries quickly, who is told by her new stepmother Rika (Satomi Ishihara in an equally exuberant and ominous efficiency) to smile what ever occurs. A single day, the girl’s chocolate-obsessed father Mito (Nao Omori) tells Miitan and Rika that he is moving to Brazil to make the finest chocolate in the planet. He leaves his daughter and wife to fend for themselves. Quickly just after, Rika begins searching for a new husband.

&#8220And So The Baton Is Passed&#8221 is screening at Toronto Japanese Film Festival

“And So The Baton is Passed” is the variety of gut-wrenching melodrama that relies much less on characters relationships and their improvement (all of which are close to paper-thin) and far more on surprise twists. That is all fantastic and a valid way of maintaining the viewers reaching for the closest napkins, but only if the twists are novel and worthy. But this is not the case with this tearjerker. Rather, it is the opposite. The so-known as twist which is supposed to hit us like a jackhammer can be noticed from a mile away, not only by seasoned melodrama fans, but by any one whose noticed practically any film from this sort. Specifically if it was “Initiation Adore.”

But even the uninitiated can see the shocking twist that “And So The Baton Is Passed” relies so heavily on from a mile away. The primary purpose for that is not the writing, nor in all probability the novel this film is primarily based on, but the somewhat sloppy path by Tetsu Maeda. He fills the film with scenes of foreshadowing whose aim is to make the “aha!” moment at the finish (and the tears it is supposed to create) even stronger. The dilemma, even so, is that he does not appear to be that apt at this and these “mysteries” finish up becoming way also apparent. So if in the finish, when the large reveal ultimately comes, tear do fall, it is from boredom or for the wasted time, if something.

Treating the audience as a bunch of imbeciles and attempting to squeeze a couple of tears out of them may well not be the worst offense of this melodrama, even though. The complete premise, and in particular its primary allegory, are significantly significantly worse. At the quite finish of the film (and this is not a spoiler simply because it is in the title), Yuko is referred to by a single of he male characters as a ‘baton.’ As in one thing to be passed from a single particular person to an additional, with no any agency of her personal. It is quite effortless to see how problematic this view of females is. In addition, it is one thing that we see thorough the complete flick. Miitan is passed from a single particular person to an additional, with no significantly genuine care for her feelings. Rika passes herself to many guys so she and Miitan can reside an a lot easier life. This ends up objectifying all 3 female characters to a degree that is beyond reprehensible, and no, there is not something romantic in that. As an alternative, it is just poor and lowbrow, like this complete film.



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