Midnight Sun

Sweetness shines in "Midnight Sun," but this Japanese romancer cum melodrama about a girl with sunlight sensitivity will prove too saccharine for most Western viewers. Acting as a showcase for J-popstar Yui, this movie version of a hit Nipponese tube show has solid performances to prop up its medically improbable storyline. On local release last year, the pic garnered respectable biz. It's a natural for Asian-themed fests, but international prospects are clouded by Japanese meller element.

With:
With: Yui (cq), Takashi Tsukamoto, Goro Kishitani, Kuniko Asagi.

Sweetness shines in “Midnight Sun,” but this Japanese romancer cum melodrama about a girl with sunlight sensitivity will prove too saccharine for most Western viewers. Acting as a showcase for J-popstar Yui, this movie version of a hit Nipponese tube show has solid performances to prop up its medically improbable storyline. On local release last year, the pic garnered respectable biz. It’s a natural for Asian-themed fests, but international prospects are clouded by Japanese meller element.

Stricken with a UV-light hyper-sensitivity known as Xeroderma Pigmentosum, musically talented teenager Kaoru (Yui, innocence personified) is confined to a nocturnal existence in the seaside town of Kamakura. Protected by transparent, light-reflective blinds, Kaoru watches handsome surfer dude Koji (Takashi Tsukamoto) catch the morning waves and aims to make him her b.f. Love finds a way, but Kaoru’s illness threatens to destroy their romantic dreams. Advertising-slick helming faithfully captures Kamakura’s smalltown atmosphere without relying on tourism cliches. Soapy smooth script has little to surprise, but manages to charm just the same. Performances are satisfying, though Yui’s songs are a tad syrupy. Tech credits are pro.

Midnight Sun

Japan

Production: A Robot Communications presentation of a Shochiku Co., SDP, Robot Communications, Yahoo! Japan (cq) production. (International sales: Shochiku, Tokyo.) Produced by Keiichiro Moriya. Directed by Norihiro Koizumi. Screenplay, Kenji Bando.

Crew: Camera (color), Koichi Nakayama; editor, Tomoo Sanjyo; music, Yui, Keita Sheiia; art director, Yuji Tsuzuki. Reviewed at Jeonju Film Festival, April 30, 2007. Original title: Taiyo no uta. Running time: 119 MIN.

With: With: Yui (cq), Takashi Tsukamoto, Goro Kishitani, Kuniko Asagi.

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