Thursday, June 3, 2010

Air Doll

Kore-eda, 2009, 2 hours

This rather abstruse movie is disappointing after Kore-eda's previous sensitive and down to earth films. This one is about an inflatable life rubber size doll meant as a carnal substitute. The doll is owned by a nondescript waiter. But Nozomi the air doll comes to acquire a human heart and have feelings. She explores the world with child like wonder and falls in love with a store attendant at a video shop. There follows a tragi-comical relationship. I fail to make out what, if anything, this by now celebrated film-maker is trying to convey through this two hour marathon. It is the beautiful cinematography which somewhat redeems it. It is a sentimental and pretty packet containing nothing much. One may sum it up by saying that Nozomi the doll is human because she has a heart and the rest of us are air dolls because we don't. Fair enough, except he is a long time saying it, and whatever if any is the message does not come across with any force, and we are left with this air doll of a film and not the Kore-eda we have come to know.

12 comments:

Literary Dreamer said...

I've heard he was trying to go more mainstream with this film. If you think American audiences are fickle when it comes to movies, you should see Japanese audiences.

On the other hand, they do pack it in for Miyazaki, so all hope is not lost.

S M Rana said...

As you say, the guy must have had his reasons since there are times when we all need to hit the jackpot, and I wonder if he did. It seems more aimed at the feminine segment. But it just didn't seem like the same guy.

Ronak M Soni said...

Spike Jonze conveys same message in your favourite time-frame:
http://www.imheremovie.com/

Very nice movie, I thought.

Ronak M Soni said...

I mean I'm Here. I haven't seen Air Doll.

SM Rana said...

@Ronak

You're right about the time frame, provided it downloads...looking forward to it.

Ronak M Soni said...

You have to stream it. I tried the download way too, but didn't work.

SM Rana said...

@Ronak

I clicked on your link and it stopped at 55%..

Ronak M Soni said...

Do try again, all sorts of problems happen.

Ronak M Soni said...

I tried, it worked for me. Probably just a minor glitch.
Look forward to what you think.

SM Rana said...

@ Ronak
Definitely will.

SM Rana said...

@Ronak
I finally managed to downstream the movie though the audio was poor and I missed nuch of the dialogues. I particularly liked the way he has conveyed depth of feeling with a minimal of "facial" movement. This robotified romance manages to touch deep layers of human experience.

Nick Duval said...

I haven't seen any Kor-eda (though I've heard of "Nobody Knows," "Still Walking" and "Afterlife"), but I'm sad that this is an "air doll of a film." I really want to see it, but I guess you're confirming that it's just a subpar rip of "Lars and the Real Girl."