6_Jpop CDJapan

Sunday April 20, 2014
Home  //  Movie Reviews  //  [Movie Review] After the Flowers - Hana no ato (2011)
  • Register

The 100 Best Contemporary Japanese Movies - Psycho Drama is launching an ambitious yet invigorating project to compile 100 of the best modern-day Japanese movies from the last 2 decades or so - that features the best young actors of their generation - from Joe Odagiri, Takako Matsu and Tadanobu Asano, to Satoshi Tsumabuki, Hikari Mitsushima, Mao Inoue, Ryuhei Matsuda, Shun Oguri and Masanabu Ando to the current crop of exciting young talents - Shota Sometani, Yuya Yagira, Kamiki Ryunosuke, Fumi Nikaido and Ai Hashimoto.

We have started with Sway (Yureru) | Confessions (Kokuhaku) | Josee, the Tiger and the Fish, with more to come!

Viewed at Namba Parks Cinema in Osaka, Japan.
I was vacationing in Japan and decided to take in a movie. Since I don't speak Japanese, I based my selection off of the poster art alone. "Hana No Ato" (aka "After the Flowers") was the film that looked most worthy of consideration, so I gave it a shot and it turned out to be a thrilling period piece.

after-the-flowers-cover


The storyline, from what I gather, concerns a woman (named Ito) who trains in swordfighting with her father. Ito at one point challenges a samurai acquaintance to a friendly, competitive duel involving bamboo sticks which ignites an attraction between the two. Subsequent to this event, a few conflicts involving honor and justice are introduced that drive the rest of the proceedings.

The most apparent observation regarding "Hana No Ato" is that it feels very similar to Yoji Yamada's samurai trilogy – "Twilight Samurai" (2002), "The Hidden Blade" (2004), and "Love and Honor" (2006). So much so, in fact, that I was actually surprised to find out that Yamada did not direct this. The similarities, however, are no coincidence. The screenplay was adapted by a short story written by the late Shuhei Fujisawa, whose writings were the basis for Yamada's trilogy. "Hana No Ato" has a comparable focus on character/conflict development to effectively build anticipation for a final confrontation.

The storyline is a familiar premise, but the execution is so strong that it will almost surely impress fans of this genre. There is one training duel and one swordfight, both of which are excellent as they employ realism and proficient choreography. Acting is restrained with emotion expressed through slight mannerisms, and Keiko Kitagawa is entirely convincing as the lead. The cinematography and capturing of natural environments are also fantastic.

It's important to note that I was definitely not in the mood for this type of film when I sat down to watch it, yet it captivated me nonetheless. I plan to purchase it on DVD as soon as it's available.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Have you watched this movie? Are you a fan of Keiko Kitagawa? Let us know what you think!

>>>

Tagged in: Keiko Kitagawa
We also recommend...
[Movie Review] Departures (2008), Article has been viewed 2247 times[Movie Review] Departures (2008)...
--- Departures  おくりびと Directed by - Takita Yojiro Starring - Motoki Masahiro, Hirosue Ryoko, Yamazaki Tsutomu Music by - Hisaishi Joe Release date - 2008 A massively moving and yet surpr...
[Movie Review] Antenna (2004), Article has been viewed 1704 times[Movie Review] Antenna (2004)...
A traumatic childhood involving the disappearance of his little sister transforms a man into a sexually repressed masochist. The most striking aspect of "Antenna" is its relentless exhibition of deep ...
[Movie Review] Hanamizuki - May your Love bloom a Hundred Years (2010), Article has been viewed 3327 times[Movie Review] Hanamizuki - May your Love bloom a Hundred Years (2010)...
A story about life, love, dreams and hopes.  Sae (Yui Aragaki) is a dedicated high school student seriously studying for a college entrance exam and while riding the train, accidentally met Kouhe...
[Movie Review] Monsters Club (2012), Article has been viewed 1068 times[Movie Review] Monsters Club (2012)...
Toshiaki Toyoda's Monsters Club is a difficult movie to review. I maybe correct in saying that it's an indictment of Japanese society, its technology and its government. I may also be correct in co...
[Movie Review] Backwater (Tomogui) - 2013, Article has been viewed 177 times[Movie Review] Backwater (Tomogui) - 2013...
Masaki Suda has left behind his peers and joins Shota Sometani, Masataka Kubota and Kento Nagayama in the elite group of young Japanese actors, by his extraordinary and sensitive portrayal of Toma ...
[Movie Review] Takumi-kun Series: Soshite, Harukaze ni Sasayaite (2007), Article has been viewed 4973 times[Movie Review] Takumi-kun Series: Soshite, Harukaze ni Sasayaite (2007)...
Editor's Note: Psycho-Drama is launching a sort of blog-a-thon in anticipation of our upcoming review of Fujimi Orchestra - and we're featuring exclusive reviews of the Takumi Kun series. In Part 1, w...

Google Search

Only search PsychoDrama

Use and Ownership of Images

Psycho Drama uses images and photographs to further enlighten our viewers about our articles. We do not claim ownership to these images and photographs.

If you are the owner of any of the images or photos we used on this website and would like to have it remove, please don't hesitate to email us at modelwatcher@gmail(dot)com and we will oblige.

Essential Sites & Blogs

Asian Addicts Anonymous - Comprehensive reviews and recaps of exciting Japanese drama, including interesting post on Asian music and movie news.

D-Addicts - Great and insightful discussions about Japanese dramas, English subtitles of the latest and previously released dramas, and torrents.

Dorama Doll - a new blog that will feature recaps of selected Japanese dramas, most probably related to Johnny & Associates talents, with some great recommendations on what to watch if you're new to the J-drama scene.

Genkinahito's Blog - Reviews, news, box office results & some amazing insights into Japanese films, including manga and anime.

I see, Ikemen - Promoting the awesome and talented young Japanese actors, with lots of screenshots and insights into the careers of top and upcoming young talents. A new blog 13oys and Men incorporates most of the actors' profiles and more!

My Drama Tea - Honest and insightful reviews of Japanese drama, also reviews of Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese dramas, with music news and movie reviews.

OtherWhere - Excellent and varied trailer showcase, insightful reviews of Japanese movies (both indies and mainstream), and a great resource for news on Studio Ghibli too!

Twitch Films - Extensive coverage of film events, with an amazing spotlight on Japanese movies.

Social Networking

ank cabbit 3

otaku

CineWeekly CineBlogger

banner-japan-blog-directory-large

Follow on Bloglovin

Large Association of Movie Blogs

My blog has recently been added to Movie Blogs, which is part of one of the largest networks of blog directories on the Web. Please visit my blog's personal page to vote for my blog and comment to other blog users.

Login

Register

*
*
*
*
*
*

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.