Night's Tightrope (2016) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A
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YesAsia Editorial Description
High school student Yuki (Honda Tsubasa) is volunteering at a hospital pediatrics ward for the summer. A transfer student had bragged about seeing the dead body of her friend, and since then, Yuki has dreamed of witnessing the moment of death for herself. She gets close with two critically ill children in the ward, and tries to help fulfill a boy's last wish. Meanwhile, her troubled friend Atsuko (Yamamoto Mizuki) volunteers at a nursing home. Tortured by bullying, Atsuko has been contemplating death.
|Product Title:||Night's Tightrope (2016) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 少女 (2016) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 少女 (2016) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 少女 Night's Tightrope (2016) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)|
|Artist Name(s):||Yamamoto Mizuki (Actor) | Honda Tsubasa (Actor) | Inagaki Goro (Actor) | Arata Mackenyu (Actor) 山本美月 (Actor) | 本田翼 (Actor) | 稻垣吾郎 (Actor) | 新田真劍佑 (Actor) 山本美月 (Actor) | 本田翼 (Actor) | 稻垣吾郎 (Actor) | 新田真剑佑 (Actor) 山本美月 (Actor) | 本田翼 (Actor) | 稲垣吾郎 (Actor) | 新田真剣佑 (Actor) Yamamoto Mizuki (Actor) | Honda Tsubasa (Actor) | Inagaki Goro (Actor) | Arata Mackenyu (Actor)|
|Director:||Mishima Yukiko 三島有紀子 三岛有纪子 三島有紀子 Mishima Yukiko|
|Writer:||Minato Kanae 湊佳苗 凑佳苗 湊かなえ／著 Minato Kanae|
|Blu-ray Region Code:||A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?|
|Subtitles:||English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese|
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
|Picture Format:||[HD] High Definition What is it?|
|Sound Information:||Dolby Digital EX(TM) / THX Surround EX(TM)|
|Screen Resolution:||1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan)|
|Package Weight:||100 (g)|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1057986046|
Yuki works as a volunteer at a hospital’s pediatric ward in the summer holidays of her second year of high school. Toward the end of last semester, a transfer student in her class named Shiori boasted that she had seen the dead body of her best friend, which left Yuki feeling an indescribable sense of discomfort, and even a little envy. A desire has grown within her to surpass Shiori by being present when a person actually dies. What’s more, she wants to be the one to make that happen, in the most amusing way. She develops close relationships with the children she works with, who have cruelly little time left to live, and plots to make her dream come true. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Yuki, her best friend Atsuko is volunteering at a nursing home for the elderly. She has been a victim of insidious bullying, and has come close to losing the will to live, but clings to a faint hope that seeing someone die might give her the strength to go on. So begins their shocking summer holiday…
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "Night's Tightrope (2016) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"
The novels of Kanae Minato have inspired a number of big screen adaptations, including Confessions, A Chorus of Angels and The Snow White Murder Case, all dark tales dealing with themes of immorality and human weakness, painting bleak pictures of Japanese society. It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise then that Night's Tightrope, based on her second book Shojo, is a resolutely grim affair, following two high school girls as they come of age by experiencing the harshness of the adult world, becoming obsessed with death in the process.
Opening with shocking scenes of bullying as girls chant for their victims to die, the film follows Mizuki Yamamoto (Sadako vs Kayako) as Atsuko, whose own experiences at the hands of her classmates have been so traumatic that she continues to fake a leg injury from a past kendo accident. She becomes best friends with Yuki (Tsubasa Honda, Blue Spring Ride), a seemingly tougher girl and a would-be novelist, whose world is thrown into disarray when her newly-finished book Night's Tightrope is stolen and published by a rotten teacher, who wins himself a literary prize in the process. The two girls drift apart, Atsuko falling in with Shiori, a girl (Ryo Sato, The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue) who makes money by tricking older men, while Yuki starts spending time with their classmate Hikaru (Mackenyu Arata, Peach Girl), a boy who shares her increasingly macabre thoughts. Becoming more troubled and morbid to the point of considering suicide, the two take summer jobs which bring them closer to the edge, Yuki working in a paediatric ward and Atsuko in a nursing home for the critically ill, each hoping that they'll have life changing experiences by witnessing death first hand.
Unsurprisingly, like most films based on the works of Kanae Minato, Night's Tightrope is not exactly a fun ride or indeed a typical tale of schoolgirl bonding, its protagonists being abused, exploited and humiliated from the start, not only by adults but by their peers, depicted a vicious mob of harpies, classroom life being very much a twisted case of survival of the fittest. Director Yukiko Mishima, whose last film was the 2015 dressmaking manga adaptation A Stitch of Life and who also co-scripted, proves a good fit for the material, taking an approach that shows restraint rather than falling back on shocks and twists – though the film does have its fair share of both, they're all the more effective for being delivered with a degree of patient subtlety. Similarly, though the film certainly goes to some very dark places, dealing with themes of revenge and suicide, these never dominate, and unlike for example Tetsuya Nakashima's adaptation of Confessions, it sticks to being grounded and shies away from anything too hysterical.
Though the film is grim, its strength comes from the fact that has a very human heart, thanks in no small part to an excellent script that really brings the characters of Yuki and Atsuko to believable life. Bolstered by some impressively mature acting from Mizuki Yamamoto and Tsubasa Honda, both playing very much against type, the film is moving rather than merely depressing, and despite their shared morbid eccentricity, the viewer comes to care for the protagonists, their death obsession seeming increasingly logical given the world they exist in. The ways in which the two grow and develop and the shifts in their relationship are compelling and nuanced, and the film does find a kind of hope in the experiences they have as they attempt to embrace death, building to a rewarding conclusion.
The film also stands out through an interesting story which doesn't play at all play out like the usual Japanese schoolgirl dramas or angsty coming of age yarns, which typically come packed with life lessons and tears. The way in which the narrative effectively splits in two as the girls go their different routes is engaging and original, and the parallels between their experiences make for fascinating viewing, Yukiko Mishima successfully generating tension as to whether or not either of them will be pushed over the edge. Though admittedly anecdotal and meandering in places the film is quietly gripping throughout, and is all the better for being unconventional.
Night's Tightrope is one of the best Japanese teen dramas of the last few years, and proof again that the challenging works of Kanae Minato have, in the right hands at least, the potential to make for thought-provoking cinema. While the film's bleak tone and dark paths will mean that it's not for all tastes, it's an impressive and accomplished offering from Yukiko Mishima, and surely promises great things to come from Mizuki Yamamoto and Tsubasa Honda.
by James Mudge - EasternKicks.com