Also known as "Flying Colors".
Release Date: May 1, 2015 Length: 116 minutes Director: Nobuhiro Doi
Kasumi Arimura as Sayaka Kudo
Atsushi Ito as Yoshitaka Tsubota(cram tutor)
Shuhei Nomura as Reiji Mori
Yo Yoshida as Akari Kudo(mother)
Tetsushi Tanaka as Toru Kudo(father)
Yuhei Ouchida as Ryota Kudo(brother)
Kokoro Okuda as Mayumi Kudo(sister)
Ken Yasuda as Takashi Nishimura(teacher)
Morio Agata as Makoto Minegishi
Airi Suzuki as Mika Honda
Just in time for Kasumi's 23rd birthday, been so much posted about her lately probably won't be having any kind of special posts for the occasion. Thanks for all the comments for those who wanted to take my place at her party this weekend, well over 700 entrants and won't announce the winner but hoping things don't work out too well!
Have had this film for a few months, really can't give a reason why it took me so long to watch it as it turned out to be a very enjoyable view. Much more serious than I thought it would be, was thinking it'd be some kind of lighthearted comedy/drama but there really was zero comedy in the film. Actually it was all drama and at times it turn out to be a bit of a tearjerker but also watching Kasumi often does bring tears of joy to our eyes.
Hopefully this won't be too long for you, haven't looked too hard but bet there's quite a few reviews out there for the film already. Kasumi plays Sayaka Kudo, a second year student at high school. At a younger age she was able to get into a very good middle school which has enabled her to move on to the school's upper grades even though she's done zero studying over the years. All that lack of studying has dropped Sayaka all the way down to the bottom class which are filled with other students that have no future. Sayaka doesn't seem to care about that too much as she's just happy hanging around with her friends having a good time.
Things eventually get even worse for Sayaka as she wasn't seen smoking but was caught by her teacher with a pack of cigarettes. This led to her mother coming to school once again to bail her out but this time instead of no punishment she enrolls Sayaka in a special tutoring school. There it's discovered through testing that even though Sayaka is in the 11th grade her academics are on par with someone in the fourth grade.
A very talented and motivating tutor at the school Tsubota manages to finally break through to Sayaka and convincing her the best revenge she could have on her hated father would be to excel at academics. Sayaka's father doesn't pay any attention to his two daughters, all of it is spent with his son Ryota who he's been training since he was a very young tot to be a pro baseball player. Ryota does have talent but by the end of the film he just didn't have what it takes to be a pro. But until then his father still dotes on him, he thinks that Sayaka has no future and wants nothing to do with her, that's a sentiment shared by her teachers too.
All except Tsubota though as Sayaka has really bought into his motivational ways, now she'd rather spend time reading a book instead of being with her friends. Her mother is the exact opposite of her father as she's supporting her 100%, she's even working double shifts to pay for Sayaka's tutoring. It doesn't take too long but within a matter of weeks most of Sayaka's test scores are now up to the level they should be though there are a few subjects she does struggle in such as Japanese history.
Sayaka is now even thinking of college and with a suggestion from Tsubota has set her sights on Keio Unversity which may be the best private college in Japan. That's a high aim for Sayaka as she's still at only about an 11th grade level on school subjects, how can she possibly dream about going to such an elite school? This being an underdog movie anything is possible, Sayaka is now spending every waking moment studying for their exams, the only sleep she gets is when she attends her high school and she's now a senior so there's no time to let up on the studying.
All of that studying as made Sayaka smarter than anyone thought she could be, even her friends and father are impressed. However after a while that curve hits a plateau and Sayaka hit one, think a body can only take so much studying plus she started to get discouraged hitting that plateau. Sayaka then took a mock exam for Keio and failed it miserably as she failed every subject but what can you expect after just studying for a few months.
Then in the classic Japanese style Sayaka ends up getting so discouraged she's ready to give up the dream of going to college but after much reflection and seeing how hard others had worked on her behalf decided to give it another go. Once again she failed a mock exam but at least this time she was closer, just needs to brush up on a few subjects and keep trying and trying. Which is what Sayaka did as she devoted herself harder than ever to her studies and this time that work made off.
Sayaka was able to pass the Keio pre-exams, now it was on to the university to take the official exams, passing and her dream would be fulfilled. On the day of the exam though Sayaka had a can of coffee prior to the tests, it gave her such a stomachache she had to keep leaving the exam hall and those trips to the ladies room didn't give her enough time to finish the tests. Sadly Sayaka didn't pass the entrance exams but somehow there was one more opportunity for her, pass it and she's in, fail and she has to wait a year or go to a different college.
Like mentioned this is an 'underdog movie' so that second attempt at the entrance exams proved to be successful, against all odds Sayaka was able to pass Keio's entrance exam! Her results weren't all that impressive but she did pass all the tests, now she's about to enter one of Japan's finest colleges. All of her success were due to Tsubota, didn't discuss him enough here but he was such an excellent tutor as he somehow got a student with a fourth grade academic level into Keio. But it wasn't jsut his work with Sayaka, he also is able to get so many other students like her motivated to study and he's kind of the teacher most of us would have liked to have had.
Don't think that was too long of a review, couple of more paragraphs may have put a few of you to sleep but except for the minor details that fairly covers most of what happened. As I mentioned going in thought didn't expect this film to be so serious, there were some lighthearted moments in the beginning but after that it was 100% serious. Shouldn't have put off watching it for so long, really enjoyed this movie, will definitely view it again and give it a very high recommendation.
Will give it a grade of a 9/10, nothing at all wrong with the film though it could have been about ten minutes shorter, seemed like from the 60 to 70 minute period it dragged a bit. But besides that it was such an excellent watch, if you get the chance to view it then you really should, especially if you're a Kasumi fan and if you're not one then you will be after watching this.
She's won some awards for her performance, it was a real solid job but unsure if it merits all the accolades it's gotten but having seen most things she's been in it is her best role to date by far. Really liked Kasumi with that hair color too, then again she could have blue hair and she'd still beat 99.9999999999999999% of the females in the world. Have a few more screenshots here and if you think she looks fabulous in these pics check out the next post where's there's over 50 more of them from the film. After these pics you can view the trailer for the film plus a behind the scenes clip from the set of the movie.