Byakuyakou (movie)

18 06 2016

Japanese title: 白夜行
Rating: PG
Running time: 149 minutes
Now out on DVD!

Some info:
1) AsianWiki
2) IMDB Profile

A movie adaptation of this novel which has been adapted into a Jdrama series a number of years back, ‘remaking’ a drama series that had good reviews and ratings is naturally no easy feat. From what I can remember from the series, there are some changes in the movie this time but I have no idea which is closer to the original written work.

Either way, it doesn’t really matter and one should not compare too much (but inevitably there will be some) to previous live-action adaptations. Looking at this movie on its own, it continues to be a story that is dark in nature, and it is again not suited for everyone since probably not everyone is able to stomach it even after knowing it is just a work of fiction. But it is this very dark nature and the way the characters are shaped that made this story something to behold, so I would say it is very essential to be like that.

Being an one-off movie, it also means that it has much more limited time to tell the same story, even though the movie is fairly long, at nearly 2.5 hours inclusive of credits. Even then, the story pans out pretty nicely, though some may not be used to the ‘story cuts’ (I don’t know how to describe it properly) which may jump to different parts of the timeline to tell/show a different part of the big picture. I think it’s a pretty good way to ‘save time’ and reveal details accordingly at appropriate times though.

However, I felt that there is a lot of focus on the female lead whereas the guy is really more of a worker in the shadows as his actual role in the story is. He still has his appearances and importance in the story but somehow there isn’t too much direct exposure of him. Perhaps that is intentional but I was hoping for more opportunities to perform. Nonetheless, it still worked out fairly well except that I was looking for more ‘balance’. It is still an enjoyable movie and definitely something for ‘new viewers’ to explore and appreciate. My take: 6.5/10

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