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Under the Same Moon

A romantic triangle revolving around a beautiful heart patient inspires bitter rivalry between boyhood friends in Japanese meller "Under the Same Moon." Very different in tone from recent work by Kenta Fukasaku, "Moon" still moves at a brisker pace than regular Japanese weepies.

With:
With: Yosuke Kubozuka, Meisa Kuroki, Edison Chen, Taro Yamamoto, Matsuo Suzuki, Kyoko Kishida.

A romantic triangle revolving around a beautiful heart patient inspires bitter rivalry between boyhood friends in Japanese meller “Under the Same Moon.” Very different in tone from recent work by Kenta Fukasaku — who scripted both “Battle Royale” pictures and took over directing duties when his father, cult helmer Kinji, died during the shoot of the second — “Moon” still moves at a brisker pace than regular Japanese weepies. Solid adherence to the rules of Asian melodrama translated into respectable B.O. at home, but offshore, “Moon” faces an eclipse.

Well-to-do medical intern Tetsuya (Yosuke Kubozuka) and orphaned mystic and painter Don (Edison Chen) have been infatuated with Emi (Meisa Kuroki) since childhood. After Emi’s father dies in a fire, Don is jailed, but escapes seven years later when he learns Tetsuya and Emi are to marry. On the lam, Don finds trouble, but leaves a trail of goodwill; meanwhile, squeaky-clean Tetsuya harbors a sinister, if easily guessed, secret. Helming is clean and lensing crisp, but the film has a TV feel. Performances are good enough, but the naturalism of Hong Kong-based, Canadian-born thesp Edison Chen is at odds with his Nipponese co-stars.

Under the Same Moon

Japan

Production: An Under the Same Moon Prod. Committee production. (International sales: Toei Co., Tokyo.) Produced by Shigeyuki Endo, Keiji Kameyama. Executive producers, Sunao Sakagami, Hiroshi Hayakawa, Osamu Kamei, Fumiaki Furuya. Directed by Kenta Fukasaku. Screenplay, Junichi Mori, based on the comic "Onaji tsuki wo miteiru" by Seiki Tsuchida.

Crew: Camera (color), Nobuyasu Kita; editor, Akimasa Kawashima, Chieko Suzaki; music, Ikuro Fujiwara; production designer, Takayuki Nitta. Reviewed at Hong Kong Filmart, March 20, 2006. Running time: 102 MIN.

With: With: Yosuke Kubozuka, Meisa Kuroki, Edison Chen, Taro Yamamoto, Matsuo Suzuki, Kyoko Kishida.

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