Thursday, January 28

Waiting in the Dark (Japan, 2006)

It's oh so quiet and oh so still. Director Daisuke Tengan continues to explore the eloquence of silence and the depth of gestures in "Waiting in the Dark" (Kurai Tokoro De Machiawase). Tengan, who penned the disquieting "Audition," knows all too well the weight of deliberate---okay, slow---storytelling and this mostly silent film is heavy with intriguing pauses.

Structured in three chapters, Michiru, Akihiro, Michiru and Akihiro, it explores the lives of a blind girl and outcast immigrant Akihiro and how their loneliness converge after the young man is suspected of murder and secretly hides in Michiru's house. Michiru first thinks it is her dead father haunting the house until she begins counting the loaves of bread. Understated is an understatement when Tengan lets even the simplest chore quietly unfurl but the sudden attack of memories---parallel point of views that complete a picture---make the silence necessary.

The situations are oftentimes questionable (Can she not smell him? And yeah, the guy is cute but a stranger invading your home is still a creepy idea) but it is undeniably fascinating to watch both tiptoe around each other's narrative until their pasts overlap. Wilson Chen (Chen Bo-lin) and Rena Tanaka (brooding, luminous) are eyecandies with a solid center, and admittedly, a huge part of my enjoyment of the film is appropriated to their simmering chemistry in this almost love story. ***

The HK version of the DVD costs only HK$35. No extra features.



8 comments:

Wilfred said...

Interesting. I'll try to watch this.

Thor Bee said...

Yeah, it is. Very engaging, too. (And maybe because I also don't mind watching slow films.)

Kevin (Ket) said...

A site I found alleges to sell the movie Region 0 NTSC. Just placed an order with them. I told you on my site that I wasn't too interested in looking into other Wilson Chen movies, since I think they just sound bad. But this one seems interesting.

Thor Bee said...

Check out the other online reviews of this one. Most critics do find it an intriguing film.

Kevin (Ket) said...

Malaysia has a version of it I will be able to watch. Unfortunately, the site I bought from special orders it. And if my last experience buying from Malaysia is representative, it could be a month and a half before I get it...

...I noticed you now have Comment Moderation.

Thor Bee said...

Yeah, got plagued by some spammer selling sports products. It's quite annoying, thus, the moderation of comments.

I was just wondering if you ever tried ordering from HMV HK. Haven't tried it myself, only HMV Japan, which is reliable but pricey.

Theo Martin said...

hope this is in metrowalk!

Thor Bee said...

Theo, my first copy was actually from Cinema Square; loved it so much that I had to get the original. :D