The Professor and His Beloved Equation (Blu-ray) (Special Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version) Blu-ray Region A
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YesAsia Editorial Description
After a succession of different housekeepers have tried and failed to look after the troublesome academic, a young woman and her 10-year-old son come to work for him. They are charmed by his love of mathematics and discover that within his cerebral musings there are words and ideas of great beauty permeating through the equations.
|Product Title:||The Professor and His Beloved Equation (Blu-ray) (Special Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version) 博士的愛情方程式 (Blu-ray) (特別版) (英文字幕) (日本版) 博士的爱情方程式 (Blu-ray) (特别版) (英文字幕) (日本版) 博士の愛した数式 スペシャル・エディション 【Blu-rayDisc】 The Professor and His Beloved Equation (Blu-ray) (Special Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)|
|Artist Name(s):||Terao Akira | Fukatsu Eri | Saitou Ryuusei | Yoshioka Hidetaka | Asaoka Ruriko 寺尾聰 | 深津繪里 | 齋藤隆成 | 吉岡秀隆 | 淺丘瑠璃子 寺尾聪 | 深津绘里 | Saitou Ryuusei | 吉冈秀隆 | 浅丘瑠璃子 寺尾聰 | 深津絵里 | 齋藤隆成 | 吉岡秀隆 | 浅丘ルリ子 Terao Akira | Fukatsu Eri | Saitou Ryuusei | Yoshioka Hidetaka | Asaoka Ruriko|
|Director:||Koizumi Takashi 小泉堯史 Koizumi Takashi 小泉堯史 Koizumi Takashi|
|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?|
|Publisher Product Code:||TCBD-110|
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
|Other Information:||Blu-ray Disc|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1030977850|
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "The Professor and His Beloved Equation (Blu-ray) (Special Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)"
This professional review refers to The Professor and His Beloved Equation (Japan Version - English Subtitles)
To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
- William Blake, Auguries of Innocence
The definition of a Mathematician in relation to a Scientist can be summed up by the fact that, while the latter attempts to discover an approximation of the truth about the world around them, a Mathematician looks only for the absolute truth. To study mathematics is to appreciate the myriad of patterns and links that numbers can tell us about our own little corner of existence. There have been countless films about science over the years - it even has its own form of fiction - but stories centred on mathematics are usually harder to come by. In recent years we've seen two hit films on mathematics: the paranoid indie thriller Pi and the shameless Oscar love-in A Beautiful Mind. When I saw that Japan was to make a character drama dealing with the effect numbers can have on someone's life, I was instantly intrigued.
Based on the best-selling novel by Ogawa Yoko, The Professor's Beloved Formula tells the story of a housekeeper (Fukatsu Eri) who is hired by an aloof heiress (Asako Ruriko) to look after her brother-in-law (Terao Akira) who, ever since a car crash ten years ago, periodically has his memory reset every eighty minutes. In his former life, the man was a celebrated math professor, and it is through his love of numbers and the housekeeper's willingness to learn anything new that the two form a strong friendship. In time, the Professor meets the housekeeper's young son (Saito Ryusei) and nicknames him Root after the mathematical symbol. Together the trio manages to form a makeshift family despite the challenges that the Professor's brain damage represent.
Having cut his teeth as assistant director on Kurosawa Akira's last five films, Koizumi Takashi has since made a name for himself as a director of slow burning, gentle dramas, like After the Rain (Agaru Ame), Letter From the Mountain, and now his third feature, The Professor's Beloved Formula. Slow burning is certainly the way to describe The Professor's Beloved Formula; the story is very simple, but at the same time extremely charming and subtly complicated as the titular professor becomes more self-aware of his condition and how he can move on with his life. When we first meet the Professor, he's an eccentric, affable figure who's prone to becoming self-absorbed in his mathematical theorems and wallowing in self-pity because his memories stop at the time of the crash. Because of these problems his former housekeepers have never lasted long, but the new housekeeper has the patience of a saint and the eagerness to match. She revels in the way the Professor uses numbers and mathematical concepts as a way to break the ice when he's stumped for things to say and always manages to bring him up to speed after each memory failure. The result of this dedication is that the Professor can stop worrying about what he's forgotten and start living in the moment. Once the housekeeper's son Root starts visiting the house, the Professor is overcome with excitement, taking to the boy like he was his own child. This (completely platonic) family unit is what ultimately saves the Professor from the abject loneliness his condition can cause.
The Professor's Beloved Formula is hard to dislike, but it does have a tendency to become very cringeworthy at times. The main problem being that, while the mathematical discussions are genuinely engaging, when the professor starts to link mathematical concepts to human emotions the sentiments can get extremely syrupy. What's more, Koizumi's laid-back directorial style may appear so languid that it could easily bore anyone not prepared to invest in each scene. And you do have to invest to get the most out of the film, as Koizumi's direction is so minimalist, it's possible to sit through the film and fail to pick up on the subtle changes that the Professor goes through. The director relies on the fantastic score by Kako Takashi and the performances of the small cast to dictate the tone of each scene - interjecting only the occasional picturesque shot of the surrounding countryside (one of Koizumi's trademarks). This calls for impeccable acting from each of the leads, but fortunately The Professor's Beloved Formula is cast well. Terao Akira dominates the film in the titular role of the Professor; he's a laid-back actor perfectly suited to Koizumi's style (indeed so far Terao has been the lead in every one of the director's films), and he completely encapsulates the Professor's innate gentleness and sadness over his mental handicap. Fukatsu Eri is one of the most popular actresses in Japan and someone who has a certain childish eagerness about her performances that makes her perfect in the role of the housekeeper, while young Saito Ryusei provides further proof that Japan is second to none when it comes to child actors. Asaoka Ruriko too embodies the sad, contemplative nature of the Professor's sister-in-law and provides a performance that becomes crucial to the effect of the final act.
The Professor's Beloved Formula is a charming, elegantly made film, weaving a straight-forward tale about friendship and coping with mental illness with effective use of mathematical concepts to counterpoint its philosophical musings. However, I can't help thinking that maybe if Koizumi Takashi got a bit more hands-on with the direction then the story could be slightly more gripping and thus more natural to follow - for instance the practicalities of the Professor's amnesia is never even shown, merely hinted at. The most effective addition the director has made to Ogawa Yoko's novel is the inclusion of a "present day" framing where an adult Root is conducting a maths lesson using his story of the Professor as the basis to introduce his class to some of the basics - a clever idea which ensures that even the most mathematically naïve viewer will have no problem keeping up with the Professor's world. The film is certainly a worthwhile character study and provides a surprisingly moving finalé without resorting to melodramatics.
by Matt Shingleton - DVD Times
Customer Review of "The Professor and His Beloved Equation (Blu-ray) (Special Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)"
See all my reviews
November 23, 2006
This customer review refers to The Professor and His Beloved Equation (Japan Version - English Subtitles)
Feelings + numbers = eternity
"Hold an Eternity in a hour"
Outstanding film in which the fragility of the human feelings are expressed with numbers. This film also demonstrate the love of learning is only tempered by a show of compassion. Eri Fukatsu and Akira Terao teams up for awarding performances. Each performer demonstrates the character's inner strength and depth. Hidetaka Yoshioka makes a brillant turn as the "narrator" of the tale and inspires us all that learning is to experience life to it's fullest, even for 80 minutes worth of memories is eternal. This film will hold your feelings and affection for an eternity.