Katte ni furuetero [Tremble All You Want] (2017)

Katte ni furuetero
Director: Akiko Ohku
Writer: Akiko Ohku
Based on: Risa Wataya‘s novel
Cast: Mayu Matsuoka, Takumi Kitamura, Daichi Watanabe, Kanji Furutachi, Anna Ishibashi, Hairi Katagiri
Part of: We Are One Film Festival
Seen on: 05.06.2020

Yoshika (Mayu Matsuoka) is an introverted accountant who spends most of her time dreaming of her high-school crush Ichi (One) although she hasn’t seen him in years. When a colleague at work, Ni (Two) (Daichi Watanabe) starts showing an interest in Yoshika, it completely throws her and she decides that she needs to reconnect with Ichi (Takumi Kitamura) to see if she can finally win his heart. So she organizes a class reunion even as she starts dating Ni.

Katte ni furuetero looks like a pretty standard RomCom but it bucks the trend a little with its complicated main character and its sometimes pretty ambiguous developments. Whether you will like that will probably depend on just how sweet you expect and want the film to be. I am a little undecided about it myself.

The film poster showing Yoshika (Mayu Matsuoka) surrounded by small cut-outs of the other characters in the film.

Yoshika is a difficult heroine – she is often very self-involved and barely even registers other people. She is obsessed with a guy she hasn’t seen in years and spends her entire life dreaming about him. She is pretty judgmental. I really loved her as a character, even if I probably wouldn’t want to be friends with her in real life. Matsuoka gives a great performance, imbuing Yoshika with a vulnerability that makes you want to stick with her, even when she’s a bit of an ass.

I had much more difficulty with Ni to be honest. He constantly pushes past Yoshika’s boundaries. And to be fair, she had closed herself off too much for her own good, but at the same time, it’s not his job to tear down her defenses. I have particular difficulties with playing this for romance.

Yoshika (Mayu Matsuoka) in a bakery.

This made the ending feel particularly bittersweet for me – with an emphasis on bitter rather than sweet. And the film is already pretty ambiguous about it. Does Yoshika accept and change, or is she giving up? I couldn’t say for sure – and she probably doesn’t know either.

In any case, Tremble All You Want is an interesting and engaging film. When it goes for an emotional point, it definitely manages to make it and it’s easy to get wrapped up in Yoshika’s life. Those are definitely all things that make it worth watching.

Yoshika (Mayu Matsuoka) smiling on a balcony overlooking the city.

Summarizing: I’m not in love with it, but I don’t regret seeing it one bit.

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