Misa's last name means `bear' in Japanese and so she is derogatively called `Pooh'. She has no friends is considered ugly and gets bullied at school by the `cooler' kids. She can only talk to her budgie and the school fish. Then one day a super cool girl, Izumi, goes out of her way to befriend her and she thinks all her Christmases have come at once.
Soon they are doing everything together and Izumi is being increasingly controlling but it could all be just a girl thing. Then Izumi starts to let the straight laced Misa see more of her real life and she is far from being a girl made of `sugar and spice and all things nice'. Add to that the disappearance of another girl from the same school and an incompetent maths teacher who they openly call `pervert' and you have quite a potent mix for something that is going to be fairly off the beaten track for `coming out' tales. Misa says at one point `the lies I say are to protect myself' but sometimes lies are not enough.
Directed by newcomer Ryokei Watanabe this is a very entertaining and original film, it has been described as a comedy but I feel this is much more a thriller and I didn't get close to laughing - if it is comedic it is on the very dark side. One for World cinema fans that I can easily recommend.
on 18 February 2014
Directed by a 24 year old, you don't get to say that often without following it up with something hurtful about the director trying to be too much too soon in their career. Its super refreshing that this is far from the case in Shady. This is a story of friendship between two teenage girls, and it's brilliantly observed with that. Well, I assume it's brilliantly observed, I haven't actually been a teenage girl before to confirm one way or another. So that is just an assumption from its naturalistic presentation and the two unknown girls in the lead roles. Not a lot happens during the friendship phase, that's okay, characterization as story is a long lasting tradition in Japan. Just watching these two girls grow past the bullying they are victim to day in day out shows great storytelling chops from the young director - Ryohei Watanabe. Then a twist, not going to reveal how and what happens, needless to say the naturalistic vibe works wonders for this dark tale of teenage friendship gone complete awry. Maybe the last minute revelation is unnecessary and production values in the violence aren't the best, nonetheless Shady is a excellent debut feature from a young director with a huge talent. Brilliant debut film from a young director.
on 23 July 2014
Love it ! another great movie from Thirdwindow Films, the other 2 reviewers talkt already plenty about the story.
If you are a fan of thirdwindow films , japanese thriller / horror movies i highly recommend you grab a copy !
This young director does a awesome job here, and you will want to rewatch this movie right the moment after you finish it !
(watch the credits as well, there is a little movie after that.)
DVD contains plenty of interviews that are really interessting !
on 2 June 2015
This starts off as a nice film about two outsiders becoming friends because both are bullied at school, but then descends into something more macabre and nasty.
I deducted a star because of several issues: it's too dark in places and you can't see what's going on. The ending of the film is also a bit at odds with the rest... it's jarring and the gore wasn't really needed.
Apart from that I quite liked it.