Love can be complicated especially when you’re still haunted by your first love, and having such gratitude to a person does not mean you are in love with that person. I recently watched a Japanese movie, quite a provoking one especially when the female protagonist was still in love with her first love. Asako I & II (寝ても覚めても, Netemo Sametemo, “At All Hours”) was released in 2018, and won Best Film in Yokohama Film Festival 2019.
The story was about a young girl from Osaka. She met this guy named Baku, accidentally. After a brief moment of those lovey dovey moment, Baku disappeared. He was considered as Asako’s first love that she could never forget, probably because they spent a night together. After a few years later, Asako met again Baku’s doppelgänger named Ryohei, a businessman. They fell in love, and lived together for 5 years. Then, one day, Asako met again Baku where she ran away with – making Ryohei heartached. Asako then returned to Ryohei whom did not trust her again. The movie stopped there – with an open ending.
Asako, a young woman who lives in Osaka, experiences love at first sight when she is confronted by the mysterious Baku. The two start a relationship against the advice from Asako’s friend who only believes Baku will hurt her. After spending the night at Baku’s place, Asako is awoken to find that he is missing. It’s explained that Baku suddenly disappears from time to time and it’s been that way since his father passed. Baku returns to Asako’s avail, and they embrace. Baku tells Asako that he will always return to her. A voice-over explains that Baku suddenly disappears once again, and they lose touch with each other.
Two years later. Asako lives in Tokyo and works at a coffee shop. She encounters a businessman named Ryohei, who works at a nearby Japanese sake company. He is identical to Baku, Asako believes it is him at first. Ryohei doesn’t understand why Asako treats him weirdly, and it isn’t until he helps her friend get into an art show that he begins to learn more about her. Ryohei tries to and eventually wins Asako over.
Five years later, Asako and Ryohei live together happily, accompanied by a cat Jintan. Asako learns that Baku has become a famous actor and model. Baku returns and Asako leaves Ryohei in the middle of a dinner their friends are throwing for them. Asako changes her mind about Baku. She returns and decides to marry Ryohei, who no longer trusts her.
It is an interesting romance movie as it allows me to look at some viewpoints – Delusion, Heartbreak, and Trust. The movie itself portrays the real situation in which some people might have move on but the fact is they are still holding with the past. It can be such a heartbreak especially when it happens to us, and that breaks the trust we hold on such person.
Asako fell in love with Baku, and she could not forget Baku even years have passed. She lived in delusional when she met Ryohei who actually looked similar to Baku. The only thing that differentiate Baku and Ryohei was their attitude. Ryohei was a caring and goal-getter who tried to win Asako over. It is unsure if Asako became Ryohei’s girlfriend because he looked like Baku, or because she really loved him. Asako was quite delusional as she still ran after Baku even after a few year living with Ryohei, probably because there were ‘special things’ in Baku which Ryohei did not possess. Unsettled matter always bring lots of problems in the future.
It is a total heartbreaking when the person that you loved left you without a proper goodbye. It is even heartbreaking when the person that you loved so much ran away with another guy. Asako was left without a proper goodbye, Baku just left her without a promise. After 7 years later, he appeared again in front of Asako, with his new appearance as model and actor. That shit attitude made me want to puke. What kind of person who just left without a proper reason and then appeared again. I’m not fond with Asako’s attitude, too. She should just stay with Ryohei who had been with her for years – but love can blindfold those who are still holding the past. Delusional! Because of Asako’s attitude, that left Ryohei with a heartache – a trust being breached by the person whom he loved the most.
The ending was left open. I just assumed that they would still continue with their relationship because it was hard for Ryohei to leave Asako. If they both could openly discuss about their relationship, I guess Asako could still get married to Ryohei. Trust needs to be re-build, and that would have to take years or maybe forever.
Where To Watch: Grasshopper Film