Love is quite an overused premise in the world of filmmaking, but sometimes, it can work to an advantage, if used in a more subtle, way, nothing too ‘in your face’.
And that is exactly how the latest Japanese romance film, Be With Me is like. This film promises to give you an almost perfect saccharine coated version of pure love. I see this production as an effort to make it believable that true love still exists.
Having had enough of high strung romance plots in your typical Hollywood style, I realised that Be With You offers something much lighter, and very much digestible. It doesn’t come with the usual ‘boy meets girl, boy woos girl, boy gets girl, boy marries girl and live happily ever after’.
It’s simply not meant to be that predictable. However, the illusion of the perfect relationship between the two leads is there, but ultimately, the purpose of the film is to lead you to believe that the kind of love the onscreen couple share, truly exists. On first thought, I thought it was rather cheesy, what with two soulmates struggling with themselves.
But as the film progressed, I realiesd that the naked simplicity of it drew me deeper into the plot. It’s really about a sincere attempt to truly love someone despite all odds. I found it rather endearing and yes I did shed tears.
I won’t reveal the entire plot here, because it would spoil the whole experience. But in case you’re curious, let me just tell you that the movie was inspired by Takuji Ichikawa’s romantic best-selling novel “Ima, Ai ni Yukimasu” (I’m Coming to Meet You Now), a story about how a dead wife suddenly reappears and joins her young son and husband for a short six weeks.
I have to hand it to director Nobuhiro Doi for pulling it off and producing such a heart-warming love story that goes beyond the cliches. It helps that there are two talented young actors like Yuko Takeuchi and Shidou Nakamura playing the lead roles of Mio and Takumi respectively. Together they bring the film to life and demonstrated with finesse, the journey between widower and wife that transcends fate, circumstances and mystery.