Life isn't easy for a group of high school kids growing up absorbed in Japan's pervasive pop/cyber culture. As they negotiate teen badlands- school bullies, parents from another planet, lurid snapshots of sex and death- these everyday rebels without a cause seek sanctuary, even salvation, through pop star savior Lily Chou-Chou, embracing her sad, dreamy songs and sharing their fears and secrets in Lilyholic chat rooms. Immersed in the speed of everyday troubles, their lives inevitably climax in a fatal collision between real and virtual identities, a final logging-off from innocence.
All About Lily Chou-Chou follows two boys, Shunsuke Hoshino and Yuichi Hasumi, from the start of junior high school when they first meet, and into second grade. The film has a discontinuous storyline, starting midway through the story, just after the second term of junior high school begins, then flashes back to the first term and summer vacation, and then skips back to the present.
Cast & Credits
Never have I seen such a contrast between a form and substance of one movie. The substance – full of brutality, mindless violence and helplessness, against the form – breathtaking shots and subtle, soothing music (my discovery of the movie - Debussy’s Arabesque!), makes this movie really disturbing and unforgettable. This dissonance is sickening, but also brilliant and makes the film different from anything I’ve seen so far.
Another thing worth mentioning – chronology of All About Lily Chou Chou. At first, nothing makes absolutely no sense, we have no idea what is happening, not to mention why do all those things happen at all. It’s a commonly used trick, present in many other movies, but frequently it makes the viewer confused and utterly lost, without a chance to understand what the heck he just watched. In this case… you will feel the same. At first. But then, when you sit back and think once again about what you’ve just seen, you will most probably see a logic between all this madness. The transformation of Hoshino is shocking, but possible and that’s the most depressing thing about this movie.
Even if I think All About Lily Chou Chou is groundbreaking, it’s not a masterpiece for me. Why? Sometimes I had the feeling that this mentioned opposition between the beauty of the form and brutality of the characters was too overbearing. Also, this movie was dangerously close to being draggy, nearly two hours and a half with so little dialogue and so much pain can be really tiring.
To sum it all up – this movie is not for everyone. If you’re not scared of this eerie, weird atmosphere of some Japanese movies, try All About Lily Chou Chou, most probably you won’t be disappointed. If you’re more of a traditional watcher, who prefers movies with a solid plot and conventional characters, do not press play - but definitely go listen to Debussy, his music is just brilliant.
The plot was just like a story, well somewhat. It starts off in a unique showing of events. The current time, then the past, then back to the present, which could be confusing but if you're paying close attention you can see that it was only a way to absorb the main characters feelings more.
Seeing each individual child affected by negativities and the adult-like world they seem to be trapped in was just even more mind-blowing. This movie made me realize that bullying isn't just about stealing lunch money and that bullies have a "story" too.
The acting was really great, they acted out the scenes so realistically and added with the regular "video camera" filmage in some parts of the movie, it makes it seem as if you are really part of the movie, even taking in the young ages these actors were at when this movie was filmed was just more astonishing and made me realize how talented they were.
Summed up - this movie is just heart clenching and a definite must see!