Saturday, November 25, 2017

Raintree no Kuni / The Land of Rain Trees (J-Movie)

Assalamualaikum. Wr. Wb.

It's been a while since the last time I wrote a review for movie / drama / book, but this morning (I'm writing this at 6.30 AM btw) after I finished watching Raintree no Kuni, I felt the need to write something about it. So I did. I wrote a short (not really) review on my Instagram, but I still feel the need to write more on this blog. Is this movie really that good or am I just easily impressed? Well, not all movies / dramas / books made me this excited to review them, which means, this movie really left a great impression at least for me personally. Although I didn't have any expectations when I first found it, and the synopsis that I read on AsianWiki don't even sound interesting. But it turns out to exceed my expectation 😂 Okay now without further ado, let's get to the story. Warning: There will be some spoilers!

GIF by literallyadramaqueen on Tumblr
A Cyber Space Friendship
Raintree no Kuni was released in November 2015, starring Yuta Tamamori and Mariya Nishiuchi. It tells a story of Nobuyuki Sakisaka (Yuta Tamamori), a salary man, a kind of guy we often meet in society, an ordinary guy who we can all relate. One day, Nobu lost the last volume of Fairy Games novel series which he hasn't read in so long. He forgot how the series ended and urged by his curiosity, he looked for the details of Fairy Games ending on Internet. He stumbled into a blog named Raintree no Kuni / The Land of Rain Trees. The author of that blog wrote her opinions and impression towards the ending of Fairy Games Novel

"The Fairy Games that I loved had become books I couldn't possibly read again. It also becomes book I'd never forget. It stuck deeply, like a thorn rooted inside of me. But as I grew up, 'so long as love exists, such a thing is a lie...' I understand what this line means. People can't just live by mincing words alone. Sacrifice oneself for loved one is not possible..."

Those words from Raintree no Kuni blog author caught Nobu's interest and made him remember that he also felt disappointed with the bittersweet ending of Fairy Games novel, although his disappointment was based of a different reason. Due to his interest in that author's opinion, Nobu accidentally sent her an email which contains his own opinion regarding Fairy Games novel.

"I, too, was blown away when I read the ending. But, it wasn't because of a feeling of rejection from something you loved, as you described. More to say, it was a beginning of my life that I needed to keep pushing at the powerlessness..."

The author of Raintree no Kuni blog is a woman named Rika Hitomi (Mariya Nishiuchi). Nobu and Rika started communicating with each other through email, they discussed their point of view about Fairy Games novel and they both became so invested in it. This is one of things that I like from this movie, the two main protagonist were connected through their similar interest in the same book, and discuss it together in cyber space while slowly develop a friendship. I mean, I can relate to them on spiritual level. The never ending talk on social media about things we both loved. Oh, I remember all the good old days 😂

GIF by nishiuchi on Tumblr
The First Date
Back to the story with some more spoilers: after intensely communicating through social media, Nobu becomes more curious about Rika and wants to meet her in person. But Rika refused his invitation to meet up on a blind date, saying that she isn't confident with her look. But feeling Nobu's sincerity in their conversation, she finally agreed to meet him. They both met up in a book store. This is one of the most painful and awkward scenes to watch 'though, since their first date didn't go as smooth as a love story in Fanfiction 😂

GIF by literallyadramaqueen on Tumblr
Rika is actually a beautiful woman, 'though her long hair covered  most of her ears and face and her outfits look plain and dull. Rika is also a very shy and reserved person, but despite of those shy behaviors, Rika is unexpectedly a very demanding person, Rika kinda forced Nobu to fulfill her preferences, be it a movie which has to be a foreign movie with subtitle, and restaurant which needs to have more quite environment, and what made Nobu even more annoyed is when Rika didn't move from the elevator they both just got in although the alarm has ring, the sign that the elevator is overweight. Nobu who always speaks what's on his mind bluntly then told Rika that he was disappointed with Rika's attitude. At the same time, he found out that Rika wore a hearing aid and the fact that she is actually deaf. All this time, Rika has been reading Nobu's lips to understand what he said. Rika regretted her act and apologize to Nobu, and decided to end their relationship at the end of that very first date.

GIF by Kisumaiyan on Tumblr
After Nobu found out the truth about Rika, he regretted his action and angers towards her. Although Rika has ended their relationship after the first date, Nobu determined to learn more about Deaf people and do a revenge date with Rika as his apology and to fix the first date which ended up in disaster. Rika didnt't accept his invitation though, she was afraid she would disappoint him again and she doesn't have enough confidence in herself, but Nobu's effort and dedication in learning more about Deafness to make Rika let him enter her world once again moved Rika's heart. No one has ever cared that much about her except her parents. Is what Nobu felt was a mere sympathy? Or is it a sincere kindness? Slowly, Nobu who never hesitate to speak anything straightforwardly learn the value of words that Rika trying to say in all her limitations.

A Heartwarming (Love) Story
GIF by nishiuchi on Tumblr
I found many interesting points which made this movie left such a great impression in me. A relationship which started from cyber world and exchanging letters, their similar interest towards the same novel, how important it is for an introvert or anti social people to have a place to let out his thoughts (blog, book, etc), and how much an act of kindness and willingness from someone to try to empathize with other people's sorrows. Although we won't be able to fully understand someone's pain because we never stand in their shoes or face the same suffering as theirs, if we genuinely try to learn to be understanding, it could give a great influence and help people who have big insecurity like Rika to be stronger. I like Nobu's personality, he was so ordinary yet very easy to relate, we can easily have the same opinions and angers as him and sometimes being bitter about life, but he still choose kindness and follow his heart. This movie offers such amazing values that is more than just romance, it's not just a love story between the Introvert and the Extrovert. It taught us about the difficulties that People with Disability (PwD) have to face every day, and in this case, it's not someone who is born disable but lost one of her ability due to an accident, which completely changed her life and affected her confidence. This movie tells us that love is not about sacrifice. Love is about kindness. And kindness comes in many forms. 

Overall a great story and I rated it 9 / 10 because I can relate to it on spiritual level. Mariya Nishiuchi is amazing as always, but it's been a while since I watched Yuta Tamamori's acting. His natural portrayal as Nobu surprised me and exceeded my expectation. I will definitely look for more of his works. 😊 

Wassalamualaikum. Wr. Wb.

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