Archive for A Piece Of Our Lives

A Piece Of Our Lives Review

Posted in Film Reviews And Conversations with tags , on November 18, 2009 by Adam Broome

So after a quiet, yet interesting, introduction from our special guest Adam Torel, the audience finally prepared themselves for the main event. Most sat in eager anticipation, as the film A Piece Of Our Lives had not been released anywhere in the world. The sense of privilege could definitely be felt in the room. It quickly evaporated.

Opening by introducing us to the character Haru (a character you will learn to hate), we essentially follow the story involving her chance meeting with a female prosthetics designer called Riko, and the attempted lesbian love affair that follows, laughs, tears and all. Both characters are at the film’s centre, Haru being a shy, indecisive and naive university student – Riko being a rather lonely and intricate character, who is tormented by her sexuality.

Evidently, this film is focusesd primarily on drama. For me, I thought the acting was relatively well handled by the two leads, as their performances did convey some emotion through the situations the pair found themselves in. But my praise for this film well and truly ends here.

It’s hard to know where to begin critisicing this film. Right from the first five minutes, you get the feeling that the film is attempting to be an art-house style film. However, with the exception of one scene every thirty minutes, the film is rather realistic, meaning that when something surreal does actually happen, it feels woefully out of place, thus only serving to confuse you.

To say this film focuses on the two main characters for about an hour and a half, even after watching the whole film I can’t tell you a great deal about either of them, other than their occupations. Haru spends the entire duration being moody and emotional, whilst making absolutely no attempt to make her life any better. Her screams, her shyness, and her tears will soon have you tearing your hair out. Meanwhile, Riko is locked up inside herself, rarely coming out her shell except to obsess over Haru’s apparent beauty. Riko and Haru get together and break up about three times, which is all that really happens in the whole movie. It’s like a Jane Austen book, but even less saucier.

This brings about the next point, which may sound like a typical ‘boy’ remark, but the fact that there’s not one sex scene in the whole movie also made the characters seem even more two dimensional. Scenes of intimacy are extremely rare (I clocked only three in the whole film), which defeats the purpose of the film considering it’s subject about sexuality and lesbianism. Considering the content, it’s not one you’d take your children to see, so the absence of a sex scene couldn’t be anything to do with the censors. Because of this, you never get any sense of the two characters being close at all – all we get to see are the arguments that occur afterwards, which are loud, noisy, and exaggerated, and which quickly become tiresome.

With failed surrealism, two dimensional characters and an equally mundane script, the last thing this film needed was repetitive music. But that’s what it got, and right from the first shot, practically through to the last, we are beaten by two piano keys being played over and over and over again.

By twenty minutes in, people had realised what they were in for. Some had been hypnotised into sleep by the recurring piano notes. Some were wondering just how they were going to sneak out without getting noticed – about a fifth of the audience made it back to base camp. Others, like me, prayed that the film we had so eagerly waited for was going to suddenly become great, and boy did we wait. After what seemed like three hours, the lights came on, people looking bleak and tired, and nobody daring to say anything.

When this film does come out next year, it should prepare for a cold reception, at least from students this side of the world. It’s called A Piece Of Our Lives. It’s certainly a bizarre piece of something, that’s not very good, nor interesting.

3 / 10