28 March 2009

Nana (2005)

Listening to: Mika Nakashima, "Glamorous Sky" (lyrics) and Yuna Ito, "Endless Story."

Ameer preceded this movie with the words, "I don't know if you'll like this." Then the titles came up. Big pink comic book letters intro, a movie about two girls looking for love and finding friendship, all encased in a J-Pop/Rock setting. How could I not like this movie? Apparently "Nana" is a top selling manga and this live action movie introduces the first story arc about two girls with the same name but entirely different backgrounds and styles. Nana O. is punk rock and dark, Nana K. is sugary sweet and armed with the biggest smile known to man.

While the story isn't anything ground breaking, the movie introduces the characters and their situations well. Nana K. has followed her boyfriend to Tokyo, Nana O. is there to make it big in the music scene. Complications ensue, love is lost and found, and everything is done (teen) romantic comedy style. But what sets the movie apart is that there's actually some good emotional depth involved. The two actresses who play the dueling Nanas are both incredibly captivating and charming. The movie reminds me a bit of Wicked, with the perky Galinda and reticent Elphaba inspiring and supporting each other.

"You never talk about yourself, it makes me feel lonely."
-Nana K. to Nana O.-
There's a lot of intentional and unintentional comedy in the film and the outfits on all the characters are outrageous and constantly comment worthy. We ended up watching the movie twice during the course of the day and I have no hesitation in saying that it's great. Highly recommended for lazy afternoons on the weekend when you need a bit of spark, a bit of heart, and something to take your mind off of things.

There are two main songs in the movie, listed and linked to up above. The actress who plays Mika Nakashima is actually a singer in real life and she brings authenticity to her role because of it. Her song hit number one on the charts. The other song, sung by a rival group, was headlined by Yuna Ito, who jump started her music career through the movie.