Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Shall We Dansu? (Japan)
Shall We Dansu?
Review by: Lauren
Shall We Dansu? is the original film which produced the American remake, Shall We Dance?, starring Jennifer Lopez. Shall We Dansu? chronicles a man named Sugiyama, who is not at all happy with his everyday life as an accountant. He has a wife, a daughter, and a nice house, but deep inside, he’s hoping for more. On his way home from work one evening, he sees a young girl gazing out the window of a dance studio. From then on, he’s mesmerized, and soon finds himself signing up for dance classes.
At first, his wife is pleased that he’s getting out, having fun, and being a lot less serious, but as he begins spending more and more time away from home-without revealing the dancing-she soon begins to worry. Thus, she goes to a private detective to find out the true meaning behind her husband’s mood change and sudden disappearances.
I’d seen the American version when it first came out and definitely enjoyed it, but I must say that the original is a lot better. Now, if you see the Japanese version, you might realize that it’s a lot similar to the American one and the language is pretty much the main difference. However, this is the original and I feel it’s worth a watch for simply that, especially if you liked Lopez’ version. You’ll find yourself with many emotions throughout this film: happiness, laughter, anger, sadness, understanding, and more.
Naoto Takenaka did a great job as Aoki, a man who loves to dance, yet can’t bring himself to do so without wearing one ridiculous wig! Aoki is definitely a light and fun character that brings a lot of humor to this film, yet he also shows his own pain and sadness, making you feel for him just as much as Sugiyama and the rest.
This is a simple film, yet is filled with a lot of emotion, and is sure to capture the heart of a lot of viewers. Forget about the subtitles, and simply give this one a chance!
If you’ve seen the American one, now is the time to see the original and if you haven’t seen either, then most definitely start with this one.