援膠女郎 + 公主與青蛙

A Fractured Fairy Tale about Soulless City Life

Air Doll is a poetic, unhurried, beautifully shot and poignant movie which may remind you of Lars and the Real Girl, Artificial Intelligence, Enchanted, Cyborg She, Pinocchio and Toy Story, yet it distinguishes itself by its poetic quality and focus on the emptiness of city life.

Indeed, city dwellers resemble sex dolls. Lacking souls and uniqueness, they can be easily substituted by others. Nozomi’s sex with three different men exploiting her and treating her as a substitute is one of the examples. Degrading themselves by treating each other as functional objects, they will be forgotten once they become useless. A dead person therefore is depicted as a piece of garbage.

Moreover, some city dwellers prefer to live alone and sometimes they feel lonely. The movie reminds us that humans should have companions. DVDs gradually replacing cinemas also indicates that people nowadays prefer solitude.

Apart from these, city slickers value money and sex more important than soul and love. For instance, a man prefers an air doll to a real woman and even a little girl prefers a ring to a doll given by her mother.

Despite the gloomy atmosphere, the movie reminds us of the cycle of life which consists of not only downs, but also ups. Although plants wither in winter, they grow in spring. Perhaps we should learn from Nozomi who tries to appreciate every moment of happiness, be it fleeting or lasting, for instance, gazing at stars and even a raindrop, admiring the breathtaking scenery in the city, embracing a man she has a crush on while riding on a motorcycle, etc. Indeed, Nozomi is already happier than other real human characters in the movie.

Starring as an inflatable sex doll with a soul, Korean actress Doona Bae (The Host, Linda Linda Linda) gives a convincing and dazzling performance in this Japanese movie. The audience will be amazed by every nuance of her expressions / movements and the daring naked scenes.

The renowned Taiwan cinematographer Mark Ping-bing Lee (In the Mood for Love) succeeds in capturing the mood of this lonely city by often panning his camera slowly to observe loners. The dreamlike music by World’s End Girlfriend also adds much purity, mystery and melancholy to this fractured modern fairy tale.

Although the plot would become more substantial if other minor characters were further developed, they help illustrate how lonely and alienated city dwellers are.

After seeing this haunting movie, one may leave the cinema with a heavy heart and a deep sigh, trying to feel one’s long-lost soul and pondering on the meaning of ephemeral life.

Hirokazu Koreeda is one of my favorite directors and his previous movies like Maborosi, Nobody Knows and Still Walking are highly recommended. 4.5 / 5


The Princess and the Frog
is a beautifully rendered fractured fairy tale which would have been more surprising if there had been more inventive ideas and impressive songs. 3 / 5

18 則留言:

  1. 最近好多戲我都想睇阿......但無時間,嗚嗚><
    [版主回覆02/04/2010 18:50:00]Busy with work? Poor you... 好多戲? Not so many to me... most are not my cup of tea. Waiting for the Oscar films.

  2. air doll 真係好好,睇得好感動,最鍾意佢對城市人對寂寞的詮釋,流浪老伯的詩篇係我最鍾意嘅一段!但係我都係鍾意lars and the real girl 多啲~
    [版主回覆02/04/2010 18:53:00]Air Doll is a poem on city dwellers' loneliness. Lars and the Real Girl is good for sure, but I personally think Air Doll is more special. ^^

  3. 係喎係喎就oscar
    唔習慣office hour工~唔鍾意晚上及紅日睇戲,哈哈~
    [版主回覆02/04/2010 21:03:00](Empty)

  4. 公主與青蛙分明是抄史力加的橋
    [版主回覆02/04/2010 21:18:00]Actually both stories were immediately erased from my memories after watching them, so I dunno haha. Anyway, it is just not surprising.

  5. It's glad to see a 2D cartoon film will be shown in the 3D animation mainstream.
    [版主回覆02/05/2010 19:00:00]Whether it is 2D or 3D, I think the most important thing is the story.

  6. Air Doll 相信是別樹一格的,用非一般的手法表達寂寞及豊足,最令我感動的是醉酒漢問她是不是一個,她堅決只說「不是」。
    [版主回覆02/05/2010 19:31:00]Right... it is a poem. A unique fractured fairy tale about loneliness.It also reminds us to treasure what we have and appreciate snippets of happiness.

  7. Little Wing - Wendy2010年2月6日 上午2:09

    這兩套都想看,但時間............ :(
    [版主回覆02/06/2010 11:38:00]Just 2 hours. Time to relax!!!

  8. 《Air Doll》真是很有意思的電影,生命與死亡、空殼(人生活是否只得這個)、心(有了一顆心是不是會帶來痛苦)。她的命運很坎坷,隨了是泄慾工具外,還是代替品﹗究竟人應該怎樣生活﹖值得深思﹗
    [版主回覆02/07/2010 22:46:00]She tries to appreciate things around her, that is what I have learnt from her. This movie will be one of my top 10 films in 2010.

  9. 還有你會不會打算看《不能沒有你》這電影也不錯﹗
    [版主回覆02/07/2010 22:46:00]Yes for sure!!!

  10. I wanna watch 公主與青蛙
    [版主回覆02/08/2010 19:36:00]Good reviews in USA, though I think it is just OK.

  11. 原來air doll就係呢套, 之前一睇個故事就覺得好有趣, 唔錯呢, 再次多謝你既推介!
    [版主回覆02/10/2010 13:02:00]Welcome! I guess you will love it. ^^

  12. 我睇左air doll~唔太鍾意佢個譯名......
    [版主回覆02/11/2010 22:15:00]Not only music, but also the cinematography... not to mention the acting... Just LOVE it... It will be one of my top 10 films. The scene you mentioned reminds the audience that humans need companions, or we are only empty shells. Hey, HKIFF is coming. Let's see if we can meet. I also wanna meet other bloggers. ^^

  13. 好阿好阿~搞blog 友聚睇戲~yeahyeahyeah~
    [版主回覆02/12/2010 00:24:00]several movie lovers + a movie we are interested in = it should be great fun

  14. 看廣告時,仲以為公主與青蛙畫得好差,但看你的blog的圖片又好似畫得不錯咁!
    [版主回覆02/12/2010 23:51:00]Yes it is beautifully rendered, but the story does not surprise me much. Just OK to me.

  15. Little Wing - Wendy2010年2月13日 上午12:55

    I have seen "Air Doll", it is a quite good movie....it is talking about life, love story....thanks for your recommendation. BTW, Happy New YEAR!!!  Hope you have a good health, wonderful and prosperous year!!!
    [版主回覆02/13/2010 01:30:00]Thank you! You too... more time to go blogging!!! Air Doll talks about life through sex. The director is really a master.

  16. Air Doll 男生好喜歡哦  訴盡都市人嘅心聲。
    [版主回覆02/14/2010 03:01:00]HAHA... I think this film really deserves our support. I'm glad that it is quite popular even among the mainstream audience.

  17. Air Doll, 公仔有生命,超現實的拍法,用來反襯冷漠的都市人是更有效,但作為觀眾就多了一分隔閡少了投入,不過導演的目的是讓我們思考,很明顯達到了他的目的,是一部成功的作品...
    [版主回覆02/16/2010 23:14:00]Right! A good motion picture is not only a matter of sights and sounds. It should be able to produce feelings and reflections. A good film undoubtedly.

  18. Little Wing - Wendy2010年2月17日 下午12:06

    I have seen "The Princess and the Frog" too, it is also a good movie....it has a new message to us for thinking, the songs are wonderful.
    [版主回覆02/17/2010 12:36:00]Good for you! The reviews are quite extreme. Some love the songs, while some dislike them.