Drowning Love

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  • Score: 7.2 (scored by 1,741 users)
  • Ranked: #2940
  • Popularity: #972
  • Watchers: 3,767

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Completed
lalala
22 people found this review helpful
Jun 13, 2017
Completed 2
Overall 9.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.5
Story:

Although the story can be confusing at first since it is very fast paced, it slows down as the story progresses, and makes more sense after understanding the characters. The story is heavier, and has a lot more dept than regular Shoujo live-actions, which I personally enjoyed. There are some touching scenes throughout the movie, especially at the ending.

Acting/Cast:

I was not a huge fan of Komatsu Nana's acting in her past works, but she improved so much in this movie! There are a few parts that are still a bit awkward, but her acting is overall pretty good in this movie. Suda Masaki's acting is always great, and once again, he did not disappoint me. He really embodied the character, and truly won me over by the end. I read somewhere that he lost a lot of weight for this role, and weighed around 50kg, which is crazy for his height! Overall, I really liked the chemistry between them since they have a similar aura.

Music:

I LOVED the music, and I thought that it went well with the movie. I downloaded a whole bunch of the songs after.

Overall:

I honestly love this movie so much. It is fast paced in the beginning, but everything fits together by the end. This is definitely different (in a good way) from regular Shoujo manga live-actions, but the scenes were filmed so beautifully. Overall, I loved the main characters and the chemistry between them.

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Completed
Vivy
16 people found this review helpful
Aug 6, 2017
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
I feel like several people were confused by this movie because they were thinking too much of it, I found that the answers to everything were on screen; it was quite a simple story actually.

If I had to sum it up it's a touching story about youth.

One thing I absolutely loved about the movie was the way it depicted youth. It showed you immature teenagers trying to act older than they actually are. The cast, while all much older than actual teenagers, managed to portray the childishness of adolescents perfectly, something that I find very scarce in media.

Another thing I enjoyed was the way it was shot, it was refreshing. Seeing all those gorgeous scenes made me want to watch the movie even more.

Would I watch this again? Most likely not but it made for a good experience and it was filmed so beautifully so I would definitely give it a go.

I recommend it to anyone who would like something to watch on a dull summer's evening!

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Completed
Jianne
5 people found this review helpful
May 11, 2017
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 7.0
I wanted to love this film as much as I love the actors in it, I really do.

Okay, I've read the manga—and I loved it. That probably explains why I wanted to love the film too. But don't get me wrong. There are things that I loved about the film too. Yes, the actors. No doubt. I am in love with both Nana Komatsu and Masaki Suda and to me, they are the perfect Natsume and Kou. It seems like, in an hyperbolic way, that Komatsu was born to be Natsume, you know.

The cinematography is just stunning and breathtaking. And the OST. Oh god, the sounds. The sounds are of absolute brilliance. There was a scene where Suda is doing the fire ritual and I felt like the cinema was going to collapse because of the raging and roaring of the fire. The cuts are done in many angles, some in slow-motion to be more melodramatic and sentimental. Which would be fine if not for the major problem.

But get this. The film really really failed in establishing one very important thing from the beginning: Natsume and Kou's relationship.

I've read the manga so the narrative itself is pretty clear to me but honestly, if I were someone who didn't read the manga, I doubt I'd understand. Or worst, I doubt I'd believe the authenticity of their relationship.

The manga establishes their strong bond, their strong connection and their strong (almost drowning ironically) feelings for each other. But the film...okay, I get that there is so much manga material to cover in 111 minutes running time and it did feel draggy towards the end—but it wouldn't have felt that way nor would it raise eyebrows if their relationship was properly established.

What I see when I watch are just two 15-year-olds who are trying too hard to cling to each other without any strong feelings—it seem like something de factor being the both good-looking, mysterious and popular. And I felt that was wrong. Very wrong.

That is why ultimately, this love story is doomed from the start. What salvaged it is Komatsu and Suda's chemistry. Or even Komatsu and Daiki Shigeoka's chemistry. And the amazing cinematography and roaring OST. I felt like there was so much more to these characters, to Natsume, to Kou, to Otomo, to Kana—and it felt like they were just discarded.

Even Kou and Otomo's friendship just got ignored and it's such a pity because the friendship plays a major part in how the love triangle shapes itself. Kana plays a bigger role later in the manga and the film just makes her like a stock character. Otomo gets discarded after his use. And the ending is very open-ended (which I would probably not mind if they fixed the crucial element of their relationship).

I feel like roles like this fit Komatsu well. But it's truly the first role where she's done the most drama. I love her (very much) and I have a bias but I will also be honest and say that she still lots to improve because Suda overpowers her. It's not BAD deadeyefish acting, it just needs to feel...stronger, more foreful. This me saying because she has worked with a lot of Japan's top actors (like Yamaken, Kamiki, Takeru Satoh; heck she even act alongside Andrew Garfield).

Though I guess, her timid, almost suppressed acting here works well for her character because her character has to be beautiful and calm and poised even while crying...it's not heavy drama but similar to what I said to Hirose Suzu before, just because you can cry doesn't mean you need to forget how your eyes show the emotion. And Suda's eyes remind me of my chameleon actors Shota Sometani and Fumi Nikaido—they act, they speak.

But I don't know why Suda looks so malnourished here. Honestly. There are times when it's so uncomfortable to watch him because I'm so afraid he'll break because you can literally see how skinny he is (yes Kou is in the book) but it looks unpleasing. I see a lot of potential in Daiki Shigeoka and the up-and-coming Mone Kamishiraishi.

Ultimately, Drowning Love (a title that actually holds a lot of significance which the film KIND OF touched on but not properly though the original Japanese title is Oboreru Knife which translates to "Drowning Knife") does try to remain a faithful adaptation but it really fails in establishing the leads' connection and relationship. It started off right away, very direct (though the dialogue is very poetic and that didn't work well because it felt like youngsters sprouting wishy-washy words) without much context or at least shape it properly later—which they didn't. It felt like a film with no goal which as romance wouldn't be a problem if you're telling a narrative though here, it felt...directionless with no clear intention. But still, I'll tell you that you will still feel some *feels* because the sounds and visuals would keep you there.

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Completed
Sarah
4 people found this review helpful
Oct 23, 2017
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
I feel like this movie left me with something... some intricate, complex and difficult to understand feeling. Kind of like experiencing silence when you're somewhere noisy, and everything is a little slower than usual, even colors seem to move. - It's just so refreshingly, excitingly different.
I love how their struggles with themselves are portrayed. They have yet to figure out who they are and what they really want and it's all painful sometimes and euphoric other times. I could relate to both their maturity and their immaturity. Both of them, Komatsu and Misaki.
I warmly recommend you to give it a try, it depicts the restless roaming of the youth beautifully.  

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Completed
Desuro
4 people found this review helpful
Jun 29, 2017
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 10
People got used to watching the same movies and dramas, following the same plot and same happy ending which is probably the main reason why not many people liked this movie. I actually loved the movie because It was very different from usual Japanese romance and one thing that really bothers me about them is that I can always predict what will happen next but I really enjoyed this movie because it was unpredictable. It had a more mature approach of their romance and not just that innocent acting.
Not every relationship ends up happily but I guess you first need to have some experience to actually understand her pain. Instead of only focusing on the story I have to say that Suda Masaki and Komatsu Nana did an amazing job in this movie. Their expressions and emotions gave me chills while watching the movie and I hope to see them together again.

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Completed
PHope
7 people found this review helpful
Jun 26, 2017
Completed 4
Overall 4.0
Story 5.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 4.0
Rewatch Value 3.0
Drowning Love is an okay movie, with an intense love story which was ruined by the odd directing techniques. First of all, the story was confusing a bit, though you get the main idea in the end and you can follow it for a while, so the messed up story line wasn't my main problem. The thing that ruined the movie for me was the way it was directed. Sequences were cut off (especially one that had a loud, happy music and then, suddenly, it was cut off), the camera was either too far away, either too close, in some scenes you could hear the actors talking but you could only see the waves, in others you had only Nana just laying down (maybe the director was in love with her...) like it was a photo shoot or something etc etc. Anyway, the main idea was that the director was all over the place, especially with holding long scenes for too long and with other scenes where you could only hear the actors breathing. Finally, the constant running around, chasing each other, was a bit odd, but you can overlook that compared to the bad directing. Thankfully, the performances were outstanding, and the love story had something in it to make you continue watching this film, probably because the couple had chemistry. So, 4 out of 10.

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Completed
edlitaM
1 people found this review helpful
Sep 11, 2018
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.5
Dark, raw, strange, abstract and poetic.
This is the story of a love that's toxic and healing at the same time.
The plot is simpler than what I had imagined reading comments and reviews, but to understand it to the fullest you have to just focus on the movie and not overthink it. What's more important in this case it's not the story itself though, but how it is told through the shots. The cinematography it's absolutely stunning. The colours, the lightings, the backgrounds: drop dead gorgeous. Some of the scenes even look like paintings.
The music was absolutely perfect, and it added to the atmosphere. It was very strong and present, and I found it very fitted in general. I have to admit that I usually don't pay that much attention to soundtracks, so this was a very nice touch.
Even though the ending isn't exactly clear, I love the uncertainty about this movie, and that confusion left me completely satisfied.
The actors did such an amazing job, they portrayed the sadness and emptiness of the characters perfectly.
To sum it up, this felt really strange and unexpected, kind of like a hindi/alternative movie, but in the best way. I really like it!
10/10 would recommend.

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Completed
Stheno_21
1 people found this review helpful
Jul 11, 2017
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
I have read the manga before watching the movie and first things first the manga is still ongoing so I was wondering how the movie would end.

So here are the things I really loved about the movie:
- The characters were portrayed well, as an adaptation the characters physical appearance as well as traits were not changed much. The lead actors (Suda and Nana) totally draws you in, the way they looked at each other and interact, the chemistry between the two is strong so to speak.
- The ocean/under water scenes are breathtakingly beautiful. The film itself was taken in a way that captivates the audience and makes you go "ah I want to go to that place".
- The story is not too simple and not too deep. Its a perfect balance for those who are sick of the usual mushy love stories.

And the part/s that could have been improved:
- Details, if you haven't read the manga you might be confused at some part or think that the pace is quite fast. It could have been better if it was more detailed.

All in all its a movie worth watching!

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Completed
mindy
1 people found this review helpful
Jun 28, 2017
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 7.0
I'm a simple girl. I see Masaki Suda and Nana Komatsu starring in the same movie, and I watch.

The story albeit confusing was beautiful. I did not read the manga prior to watching this, and now, I feel as though I should in order to see a better glimpse of the plot. In the two hours of screentime this movie had, I'm a bit disappointed that the story was rather unclear. Even so, the story was captivating from the beginning, making me want to keep watching to see what was going to happen next. I find that it was slow around the middle of the movie, and fast paced at the beginning and end. Even in those slow moments, I felt immersed. This one was a heart wrenching tear jerker overflowing with love. The assault that was depicted made it very difficult for me to watch, but I did regardless. If you are not comfortable seeing sexual harassment and a bit of gore, I recommend that you not watch this movie, as assault was a big part of what was shown.

The cast! I loved Masaki Suda's performance. He captured the melancholy of Kou well and he made me want to break down in tears myself seeing Kou breaking down. His light hair and slim build seemed to suit Kou. In Nana Komatsu's previous works, she generally plays either a submissive or a cold character. Here, she depicts Natsume who is driven. I think that she did a wonderful job portraying Natsume. I admittedly had a bit of second lead syndrome, but Masaki Suda truly won, in my heart, anyway.

The music and sound effects were totally top notch. A+! The music added a sense of realism to the movie and made me feel as though I was there, experiencing everything happening.

I'm not sure if I'd ever watch this movie again, but I feel as though I will at some point.

I enjoyed watching this movie. I was waiting for it for ages and when it finally came out, I was a little bit disappointed. Nonetheless, it was definitely not a waste of my time, and I am glad I watched it. It made my eyes leak for quite a while.

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Completed
Chai ni
1 people found this review helpful
Jun 26, 2018
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
I'm not into J movies actually but then I ran out of K movies to watch so I searched for some good J movies to and stumbled on this one. What's funny is I just picked this movie because I fell inlove with the blonde haired guy protagonist HAHAHAHAHAHAH without reading the plot, that's why I got shocked when the movie was so fast and I thought that I've downloaded a wrong version of this movie but it actually had some meaning after some few scenes. I tell you guys, ready your tissues cause this movie is really emotional and I cried a lot while watching this, I cried my whole heart out. So everall, this is a good movie and the plot is not cliche nor mediocre, it just so happens that this will make you confused at first but it's a great movie!

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Completed
Tel
0 people found this review helpful
Nov 5, 2018
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 6.0
This is a high school romance movie of a teen model and how she advances her career despite being encountered with difficulties that comes with show business. I found many people commenting can't understand the ending.. Well the ending is she winning an award for a movie which had a bit of similarity with her own life.

That is not a spoiler and you need to watch it to understand it. I don't think any other actress could portray this role as this girl did. Nana had that innocence, passion and honesty of feelings - everything was expressed well. She is one of the few actresses in Asian dramas whom I like for her acting and expressing the character so beautifully without making us feel any artificiality.

Loved the chemistry between Koh Chan and Natsume. Ohtomo and Kana did their part very well too. t is a good movie for a lazy afternoon. Loved it.

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Completed
Shiripon
0 people found this review helpful
30 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 10
I'm writing this review after my second time through Drowning Love, and it definitely gains depth as you get to know it better. I'm always interested when the shoujo genre departs from its norms and turns into something more serious, which this film is an excellent example of. It's not a cheerful, sappy shoujo film, and rather comes across as a striking, nuanced, and deeply romantic meditation.

One thing I think is good to keep in mind going in is that the story of Drowning Love occupies the physical and spiritual realms equally. (The "spiritual" here refers to the Japanese Shinto faith, and the spirits and beliefs it contains.) In Drowning Love, the abstract, the liminal, the spiritual carry just as much weight as what "really" happens - if not more. This movie works through a tragic, life-changing experience in a really nuanced and thoughtful way - poetically rather than logically, if you will. The main couple has so much chemistry, and their relationship has so much weight to it that I find I can never take my eyes off of them. In that vein, this movie is incredibly sexy, not because of the amount of skin shown, but because the characters and their bond grab you in unexpected and breathtaking ways.

I feel like the second time through I have finally figured out the ending. The movie does feel like it ends in the abstract, rather than the concrete, but I want to reassure someone fearful of wasting their time that the ending isn't nonsense - I was able to understand it better when I paid attention to the transitions between the scenes.

The music was the only let-down in this film. It was like the only leave-over from a stereotypical shoujo film - upbeat rock music that just didn't fit the story. The rock only plays rarely, though, and I want to give full kudos for the auditory richness here - the sounds of water running, the main character breathing, the beating drums at the festival. When you're in this movie, you're really in it with all your senses, and that's a great accomplishment on the part of the film-makers.

In conclusion, this movie was clearly made by a group of skilled people who were putting deep thought into it. The results are stunning, and a second watch or a few rewinds will clear up any confusion experienced the first time around. I want to give a shout-out to the actors, as well, who are incredible - and especially the second male lead, who is compelling without being pitiful or saccharine. This is definitely one I will be coming back to re-watch again and again.

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