Asako I & II

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Asako I & II
Asako I & II.png
Film poster
Directed byRyūsuke Hamaguchi
Screenplay byRyūsuke Hamaguchi
Sachiko Tanaka
Based onNetemo Sametemo
by Tomoka Shibasaki
StarringMasahiro Higashide
Erika Karata
Music byTofubeats
CinematographyYasuyuki Sasaki
Edited byAzusa Yamazaki
Release date
  • 14 May 2018 (2018-05-14) (Cannes)
  • 1 September 2018 (2018-09-01) (Japan)
Running time
119 minutes
CountryJapan
LanguageJapanese

Asako I & II (寝ても覚めても, Netemo Sametemo, "At All Hours") is a 2018 Japanese romance drama film directed by Ryūsuke Hamaguchi,[1] starring Masahiro Higashide and Erika Karata.[2] It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.[3][4] It is based on a 2010 novel by Tomoka Shibasaki about a woman who falls in love with two men who look the same but act completely differently.[5]

Plot[edit]

Asako, a young woman who lives in Osaka, has a relationship with Baku for a while. Baku suddenly disappears, and they lose in touch with each other.

Two years later, Asako lives in Tokyo and works at a coffee shop. She encounters a businessman named Ryohei, who works at a nearby Japanese sake company. He resembles Baku.

Five years later, Asako and Ryohei live together happily, accompanied by a cat Jintan. Asako learns that Baku has become a famous actor and model. Asako decides to marry Ryohei.

Cast[edit]

Release[edit]

Higashide, Karata, and Hamaguchi at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

The film was screened at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival in competition on 14 May 2018.[6] It was released in Japan on 1 September 2018.[7]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 71% based on 21 reviews, and an average rating of 7.5/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Asako I & II's high-concept premise is anchored by thought-provoking themes and confident, compelling work from director Ryusuke Hamaguchi."[8] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 62 out of 100, based on 9 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[9]

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian called Asako I & II "an amusing essay in amorous delusion."[10] Yannick Vely, writing for Paris Match, praised Hamaguchi's sympathetic portrayal of characters but suggested that some plot twists might appear forced to Western viewers.[11] Eric Kohn of IndieWire wrote: "It's refreshing to see a high-concept movie that doesn't assume every love story has to reach a tidy conclusion, and implies that some happy endings are best left open-ended."[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ASAKO I & II". mk2 Films. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  2. ^ Blair, Galvin J. (7 May 2018). "How Ryusuke Hamaguchi Took a Novel Approach to a Big-Screen Adaptation". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  3. ^ "The 2018 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  4. ^ Debruge, Peter; Keslassy, Elsa (12 April 2018). "Cannes Lineup Includes New Films From Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard". Variety. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  5. ^ Dalton, Stephen (14 May 2018). "'Asako I & II' ('Netemo sametemo'): Film Review Cannes 2018". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  6. ^ "「新しい才能出現」との声も…「寝ても覚めても」". Yomiuri Shimbun (in Japanese). 16 May 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  7. ^ "感情揺さぶる鮮烈ラブストーリー 映画「寝ても覚めても」". Tokyo Shimbun (in Japanese). 30 August 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Asako I & II". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Asako I & II". Metacritic. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  10. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (15 May 2018). "Asako I & II review – Japanese romcom flips the gaze to tell the same old story". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  11. ^ Vely, Yannick (15 May 2018). "Asako 1 & 2 de Ryūsuke Hamaguchi – la critique". Paris Match (in French). Retrieved 17 September 2018. Alors, oui il faut accepter certains rebondissements qui peuvent apparaître forcés aux yeux occidentaux.
  12. ^ Kohn, Eric (14 May 2018). "'Asako I & II' Review: An Inventive New Take on Relationship Problems — Cannes 2018". IndieWire. Retrieved 26 October 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]