Birds Without Names

2017

Drama / Mystery

Synopsis


Uploaded By: ZACH
Downloaded 2,152 times
May 26, 2018 at 10:58 PM

Cast

as Jinya Sano
as Sakada
as Misuzu Nonoyama
as Towako Kitahara
720p 1080p
1,007.49 MB
1280*536
Japanese
23.976
02 hr 03 min
P/S 0 / 2
1.84 GB
1920*804
Japanese
23.976
02 hr 03 min
P/S 0 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by nmegahey 8 / 10

Lies, loneliness and murder

"Humans are lonely by nature" says one of the unappealing characters in Kazuya Shirashi's Birds Without Names, and essentially it's a struggle against loneliness that defines most of the characters in the film, and indeed it probably accounts for what makes them unappealing as well. Taking on a murder-mystery aspect, the film then becomes a question of how far each of the characters are willing to go to survive or fight against their own nature and the loneliness that lies at the heart of it.

Towako is trapped in a dead-end relationship living with Jinji. She describes Jinji to her sister as "filthy, vulgar, mean, drab, weak, timid and uncouth" and you couldn't disagree with that assessment. On the other hand, Jinji, a construction worker who is 15 years her senior, protects and cares for her, cooking, giving her money, doing everything to try to make her happy. Towako is more than a little bitter and unpleasant herself. Nasty and abusive, she still looks back on what she saw as a more idyllic relationship with Kurosaki, even though it soon becomes apparent that there was an ugly side to that relationship as well. When Towako discovers that Kurosaki has been reported missing for five years and starts to notice Jinji following her as she embarks on a new relationship with watch salesman Mizushima, she starts to have suspicions about just how far Jinji might go to keep her for himself.

There is a thriller aspect to Birds Without Names then, but the truth about what happened to Kurosaki is just another way that is more or less equivalent to Towako coming to terms with the reality of her own nature, with her loneliness, and with how she lets that affect her relationships. While that might sound simple enough, Birds Without Names takes into consideration that this characteristic is not solely the condition of Towako, but also Jinji and even Mizushima, and the combined force and desperation of each of those conflicting needs creates a more complex matrix of emotions.

The film's darker exploration of loneliness, jealousy and abusiveness in relationships could potentially make this unpleasant and uncomfortable viewing, but there are two outstanding performances from Yu Aoi and Sadao Abe that fully support the director's aim to not just depict such characteristics in unflinching detail, or indeed to solve a murder-mystery, but to explore the very real and imperfect human drives that lie behind such actions.

Reviewed by aghaemi 7 / 10

Unrequited Love For Miss Aoi

Lucky Number Eight? The number 8 is a symbol and harbinger of prosperity in Japan, but the film begins with Towako in her tight and cluttered apartment rudely arguing, and probably fibbing, over the phone with a shop about a $350 watch, "I may sound like a bitch," she says. Towako lost her boyfriend Shunichi and drifted into a relationship with Jinya eight years ago. She is dissatisfied ? with the money, current boyfriend's rough demeanour, looks, the sex, the whole thing ? but stays put for sustenance and a roof over her head, out of lack of alternatives, out of inertia. Her old boyfriend was not the best to say the least, but surely it was better than what she has now, she fancies reminiscing about the material goods. The compliant and docile fool of a current boyfriend shows a modicum of maleness and bite when he senses a man getting close to her. In tandem she draws closer when he becomes more of a force. As she does he becomes murkier and murkier. She is emotionally vulnerable, damaged and portrayed as a gold digger - interested more in a man's life insurance than his life for instance ? and describes her man as a "room-mate" to others. Suffice to say one does not form a high opinion of either of them. As much as she is despicable her openness to and a visitor's beeline for her so fast is unusual and rather unrealistic. He felt "duty-bound" though and this suddenness is matched by her old boyfriend's direct "have my baby" line on the phone. Then there is the matter of her being left alone with an older character introduced later and the same man's ability to spill much of the beans, but has not. Either way, things are about to be shaken up when Towako meets Makoto who is charming, a manager and soon bestows her gifts including sex. It is finally something different from the haggard, desperate and kind current boyfriend for the cold-to-the-touch girl. Things are looking up ? and never mind that the newest man is married ? until a detective shows up at the door and the number of years passed is suddenly not such a portender of luck and fortune. The woman is slowly compelled to confront her past and it is not pretty.

The latest film with acclaimed actress Aoi Yu is Kanojo Ga Sono Mei Wo Shiranai Toritachi ('The Birds She Never Knew') and is based on a 2006 novel that has sold 200,000 copies in Japan. The novel and its author Mahokaru Numata are part of a sub-genre, which inelegantly are called 'eww mystery.' They depict mysteries that make the reader, or in this case the viewer, exclaim 'eww' scene after scene and that quality is intact here. The unappealing sides of humans are on display. Pity, loathing, distaste and repulsion are adjectives that come to mind and are almost equally shared across the characters. The generally better-regarded adjectives are here too, but the tension eclipses them. The 'iyamisu' sub-genre translates well to film here and it is a credit to the actors and director that they make the audience feel it. At this stage of her career it is rare that Aoi appears in a film where she has not co-starred with any of her other leading actors. Such is this film, with only Yutaka Takenouchi having worked in 2007's Best Wishes For Tomorrow alongside Aoi ten years ago, but both the chemistry and the scripted lack thereof are believable. One theme here, it was said, is that what is important is sometimes right beside one. Shot in Osaka, Japan the domestic drama is soon a mystery and the question becomes did one person kill another. If so was it out of jealousy? How much does Towako know and what does she suspect? Is she in danger herself? There are big surprises in the story and no, I do not mean the oddball suggestion to buy a chimpanzee in lieu of having a child, which a character suggests.

The film opens in Japan on 28.10.2017, but had its world premiere in Toronto as part of The Toronto International Film Festival in mid-September. A TIFF moderator introduced the film calling it "Bird Without Name" twice single-handedly dropping the plural. The subtitles also contained a couple of grammatical mistakes. The TIFF staffer also added that it is the director's first time in Toronto. Kazuya Shiraishi, who was at the premiere, climbed the stage and mentioned that participating at TIFF was a dream of his. He cautioned that the film "to start, will be a little bit hard to take, but for me (it is) the most beautiful ever? so enjoy it." Who could at least not be curious given such a lofty description? He also thought the Buddhist references (here is one I reckon: eating meat goes with murder) and Japanese cultural symbolisms may be a little bit hard to take for the Canadian audience. After the film and during the Q&A the director was quite open, which was a breath of fresh air in contrast to the directors who are cagey and leave things to the audience, and mentioned the precarious and mean domestic situation of the film reflects his own back in Japan. He also noted that his having worked on Roman porno films has given him a level of improvisation and ability to do things on the cheap.

Watching Birds Without Names was a treat as is watching most things with Yu Aoi in them. The film originating from Japan implies a limited audience, being in Japanese and sub-titled do the same. Audiences would do well to make those factors notwithstanding. This is a worthy and complex film with flashbacks and back and forth splices, which is a cut above, and Yu Aoi is one of the exceptional actors who can pull it off.

Love makes us do things contrary to loveliness.

Reviewed by stephen-624 6 / 10

Not Quite

Often, Japanese movies are slightly weird in a good and culturally intriguing way. This one is weird in a not so good way.

Based on a not very good novel, Birds intrigues for the first two reels, but falls away thereafter. The female and male lead, excellent as they are, are forced into too many tight plot corners, and their taut emotionality runs into histrionics.

Worth a watch, sure, but keep your expectations in check.

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