(aka "Sway" or "Yureru" )

 

directed by Miwa Nishikawa
Japan 2006

With half the film backdrop set in a courtroom with intense drama, Director Miwa Nishikawa’s, “Sway”, takes the viewer into the life of lead character Takeru (played by Jo Odagiri). Takeru is a trendy Tokyo photographer with a penchant for red leather pants and a pervading coolness. Traveling which is the first theme at the beginning of the film, Takeru receives a disturbing message that his mother has passed away. Readying his items, he takes to the road in his equally stylish retro car for the funeral services.

Upon settling again in his old town of his youth, Takeru and his father relive the animosity which has been buried in the past and now have been exposed. Takeru’ s older brother, Minoru (Teruyuki Kagawa) is a good natured sibling, who is a polar opposite of the edgy Takeru. We find Minoru running a dilapidated fuel station. Takeru views his return to what the gas station ultimately symbolizes, monotony, routine and the mundaneness he escaped. Despite the freedom looking style he seems to exude, his roots are here. This is the lesson he is faced with again. He cannot escape his past.

***

Sway is a heavily character drive film, with Takeru taking the reigns, we are completely subjected to his viewpoints. Through his past history and his self revealing thoughts which cause us to vacillate from the metropolitan life he now lives to the simple life that the country and traditionalism inherently carries. Through the catalyst of his older brother Minoru, Takeru must come to grips with his ailing family life and make straight his path. Strongly reflective, Sway is a film that keeps you gripping to your chair with every passing moment.

Excerpt from Cinema Without Borders

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 2006

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Bandai Visual (Japanese Version) - Region 2 - NTSC

Big thanks to Luiz R. for the Review!

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Distribution

Bandai Visual

Region 2 - NTSC

Runtime 119 min
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.37 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Japanese Dolby Digital (2.0)
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Bandai Visual

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Dual Layered DVD
• Making Of
• Trailers

DVD Release Date: February 23rd, 2007
Keep Case

Chapters 18

 

Comments:

IMAGE:
This is a dual-layered DVD with the usual good quality progressive transfer from Bandai Visual. The image is just a bit blurred and there is some noise, but not enough to be distracting. The contrast is light to moderate and I believe it is right, blacks are very good and even, colors and the white balance are well adjusted and look very real to me.

The subtitles look fine to me, but sometimes it seems like a comma or a dot are missing. But I think it is just an impression caused by trying to keep the subtitles close to the original spoken dialogue.

SOUND:
The only sound available is a high quality 448 kbps 2.0 Dolby Surround mix that probably can only be surpassed by its future uncompressed version. This is not a very sound-busy movie, but a skilful job was done here making everything well balanced. The voices are evident, the background sound never becomes disturbing during the quieter moments, and the occasional but quality eclectic soundtrack, sometimes jazzy sometimes just a minimalist piano, is pristine and when present makes a strong contribution to the movie climate. The stereo option here is enough for a movie like this in my opinion and its quality is hard to find even among the 5.1 mixes.

EXTRAS:
The only extras available are some trailers/teaser and a 15 min. making of that looks very interesting but lacks English subtitles. You can still enjoy it a bit and get an idea how the things were done just by looking into it. Even without a pack of extras, this is a quality and worthy release in my opinion.

Keep in mind that the movie itself is the greatest quality here, this is the second one from Miwa Nishikawa, that was Kore-eda Hirokazu's assistant director, and a strong psychological study of human nature and modern society. I recommend!

 - Luiz R.

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

Distribution

Bandai Visual

Region 2 - NTSC




 

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