How to Become Myself



IMDb Rating 6.5 10 294

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
December 26, 2021 at 06:36 PM



720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
892.5 MB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 37 min
P/S counting...
1.62 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 37 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by DICK STEEL 10 / 10

A Nutshell Review: How to Become Myself

Based on a story by Kaori Mado, How to Become Myself touches base with what it means to understand oneself, and being very comfortable with it. To be honest, everyone plays different roles in different situations with different people encountered. I can be a brother, friend, soldier, employee, reviewer, son, and the list goes on, putting on different masks, being different persons, adopting various personae. With the advent of the Internet and anonymous profiles, what you can be, is limited only by your imagination. (And of course you've got perverts being totally something else altogether).

And in the many roles we play, how often do we stop and take stock - just who the heck am I? Who's the real me, and what's the "me" that I'm portraying for others to see and interact with? Bottomline is, are you being true to yourself and being honest about yourself with others? Or are you superficially role playing with nary an emotional attachment to the part? What I thought was neat was that the movie doesn't shove this thought down your throat, but rather played it out through the interaction between the leads. Subtlety is by far Ichikawa's strongest point in his movies (based on the 4 I've seen), and his pace of the movies allows you room enough to ponder as scenes transition and the narrative develops on screen.

Juri (Niko Narumi, you'll be amazed that she's only so young, but yet has the capability to take on a character that so layered and yet so subtle in her delivery) plays an ideal girl at home and in school, but this facade is quickly stripped away early in the movie, as we see her loathe her parent's bickering at home, while putting up a false front of a happy, supportive family to the outside world. In the movie, the spotlight is also shared by fellow classmate Hinako (Atsuko Maeda), a popular girl who in a twist of fate, becomes the victim of classroom politics and bullying. Mere acquaintances, they share a poignant conversation just after junior school graduation, before going their separate ways.

The story then fast forwards 2 years later, and Juri, out of curiosity, looks up and emails Hanako, who apparently doesn't seem to remember her, or their conversation. And thus begins a reintroduction and attempts to build a friendship between the two in what is probably one of the most layered stories I've experienced in recent times. It's almost like kueh-lapis, where each layer can be peeled apart and reveals another understanding at a different level. It tells of the story in three ways, through exchanges of email (more on this later), as the catalyst and fuel for creative writing, and of course, in the character's real lives. Juri and Hinako wear different masks to play different roles, consciously and subconsciously, and with each being a projection of their articifically created self, there's no denying just who's playing what role, and questions of whether they're relishing these roles are posed, and when do you know to stop and become yourself, truly?

Watching the narrative unfold was part of the fun, as techniques such as panel in panel, and split screens, are used to simultaneously present to the audience the different character's action / reaction at the same point in time. Not to mention that the shots are beautifully rendered, with text messages from mobile phones bringing to mind Eric Khoo's Be With Me. In true Ichikawa style, the pacing is deliberately slow, and the wonderful soundtrack comprises of eclectic pop tunes as well as quiet contempla tive pieces, all of which I thought complimented the movie very well.

But what I really enjoyed when watching the movie, and how it connected with me, was the way it seemed like a dispenser of tips on love and the living of life. And this brings to mind the song Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen), which itself was based on an article written in the Chicago Tribune on 1st June 1997 by Mary Schmich titled "Advice, like youth, probably wasted on the young". I got the same feeling when reading the column (and re-reading it again) back in those days, listening to the song version of it, and now watching a series of events unfold on screen as one character projects her self onto another, as well as the aptly included commencement sequence. Sometimes things just click, and connects on a different level which appealed to me at least.

And now about that email exchange, I think it's prudent to bear in mind that the Japanese wireless telecommunications network is different from the GSM one that we're so used to. I've heard some puzzled expressions and comments about how it's possible to not know who is calling based on the Caller-ID, but I suppose that the Japanese network is already more highly advanced and developed than the GSM one, and sending an email through a phone is a piece of cake. So let's not confuse that with the sending of SMS, which obviously then this story, or how it panned out, wouldn't apply to places like ours. And yeah, I like their phones too, even though it's the girly model - there's something about the simplicity and minimalist look and feel about it (in the design, not features) that I'm impressed with.

How to Become Myself easily ranks amongst my favourite of Ichikawa Jun's movies to date, in addition to Tokyo Marigold. Highly recommended as it's a really good film all round!

Reviewed by ethSin 9 / 10

Searching for your true identity.

A life-altering movie about a girl Juri AKA Kotori instructing Kanako AKA Hina how to live her life through emails by cell phone.

The story itself is actually quite close to "Nobuta. wo Produce", but done in a completely different setting. This movie has a very nice flow, one thing happens after another, and there are no filler scenes of any kind. Very well-acted by two (visually pleasant) new-generation lead actresses Narumi Riko (Juri) and Maeda Atsuko (Kanako). It took a while to get used to it, but it's directed in a very unique style that works very well. The music (OST/BGM) for this movie was outstanding. It's the first time "Sasaki Yuri" is in charge of music for a movie, everyone remember this name, she'll definitely be back! The only reason this film is not 10/10 is because there is a ten minute sequence that I felt were a bit over-sentimental, but still, an excellent, life-altering film.

This is a movie I really wish I saw 10 years ago.

Reviewed by nmegahey 7 / 10

Sensitive and balanced look at teenage angst

How To Become Myself tackles a number of familiar teenage issues relating to bullying, self-worth and identity and inevitably runs the risk of talking down to its audience, over-dramatising the issues, smothering them in platitudes and wrapping them up with a neat instructive moral Jun Ichikawa however is far too good a director to allow that to happen.

Everything stems from a conversation that Juri has with her classmate Hinako on their last day of graduation from middle-school. Juri has been observing the vagaries of the unpredictable flow of popularity between her classmates as the years progress, with nerdy kids suddenly becoming cool and popular, while other normal outgoing girls start to become withdrawn, picked-upon and ostracised. Juri knows it's a balancing act and has to work hard to keep on the right side of friends, but finds it difficult all the same. Hinako is one of those girls however who has found it too much to deal with and has decided to move on to a different school. Considerate of the challenges her friend must face, even though she has her own difficulties to deal with both in school and in her family life, Juri anonymously sends e-mails and texts to Hinako to help her re-establish herself in her new life, while at the same time using the experience for a writing project.

While there certainly seem to be some concessions towards its younger audience, Juri in the process devising a kind of set of rules for survival through these difficult adolescent years, the director playing around with the screen format to for split screen effects and text message inserts, Ichikawa never resorts to platitudes, despite fears that might be generated by the film's English title. Certainly achievement of this aim is the film's object, but the director never allows the viewer to be fooled into thinking that following a set of rules is ideal or even easily achievable. The rules Juri devises are a good guideline that can make the path smoother, but even those are no guarantee that through them you'll be happy with yourself or even come to an understand who you really are – something that Juri herself, for all her seemingly perfect understanding of the world, comes to realise.

While these are indeed familiar issues, it's rare to see them treated so well, so realistically and with such sensitivity in the cinematic medium. Ichikawa, who similarly navigated the inexpressible sentiments of loss and loneliness in Tony Takitani though delicate camera movements and desaturated colouration, similarly allows mood, music and situation to express more than false drama or over-explanation, getting to the heart of the characters involved and the little dramas writ large that are their lives.

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