Love endures, but remains elusive, in "Rainbow Song," a sad but sweet Japanese meller about friends who never became lovers. Asian-themed fests will be best destination, but would also suit fest sidebars for teens. Due to release in Tokyo this month, pic looks set for solid local B.O. on the strength of its local stars.

Love endures, but remains elusive, in “Rainbow Song,” a sad but sweet Japanese meller about friends who never became lovers. A vehicle for Nipponese tube and movie heartthrob Hayato Ichihara, pic is a note-perfect lament for opportunities missed and will touch in equal measure young hearts inside and outside the land of the Rising Sun. Asian-themed fests will be best destination, but would also suit fest sidebars for teens. Due to release in Tokyo this month, pic looks set for solid local B.O. on the strength of its local stars.

Incompetent film set gopher Tomoya Kishida (Ichihara) finds out that the girl, and fellow film buff he loved, Aoi Sato (Juri Ueno), has died in a California plane crash, moments after he emails a picture of a rainbow to her mobile phone. While the Sato clan sets off to L.A. to retrieve Aoi’s body, Tomoya recalls the love affair they never really had.

Naoto Kumazawa’s serene helming enhances the low-key fatalistic script. Key perfs lend a palpable air of sincerity and Yu Aoi absolutely shines in the supporting role of Aoi’s all-knowing blind sister. Tech credits are pro.

Rainbow Song

Japan

Production

An Amuse Soft Entertainment, Playworks presentation of a Rainbow Song Film Partners production. (International sales: Amuse Soft Entertainment, Tokyo.) Produced by Shunji Iwai, Toshihiro Kitta. Directed by Naoto Kumazawa. Screenplay, Ami Sakurai, Miyuki Saito, San Amino.

Crew

Camera (color), Shinichi Tsunoda, Masayuki Fujii; editor, Kumazawa; music, Hiroaki Yamashita; production designer, Yukiyo Lawamura. Reviewed at Pusan Film Festival (Open Cinema), Oct. 17, 2006. Running time: 117 MIN.

With

Hayato Ichihara, Juri Ueno, Yu Aoi, Wakana Sakai, Ami Suzuki, Shoko Aida.
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