Tadashi is about to take his final school examinations. Unbeknown to anyone, he has fallen in love with his fellow-pupil, Kota, and doesn’t dare to tell anyone. One hot summer’s day, some of the other schoolboys taunt him, calling him a ponce. This destroys all hope he ever had of getting together with Kota.
Thoroughly depressed, Tadashi meets a gay couple on the train. Hiroki and Sinji are fascinating; their conversation is so stimulating that, before he realises what he is doing, he decides to follow them.
It is completely irrelevant how old you are and how often it happens to you, falling in love is always just like the first time. In HATSU-KOI, director Imaizumi Koichi tells a story about coming of age, coming out and a gay marriage that is sprinkled with both love and hard-core sex, at the centre of which is a teenager who doesn’t yet know what he wants. -- Berlin Film Festival
Cast & Credits
The story is about a boy who feels isolated. Some of the kids in the school know he's gay, and they single him out to pick on him. What drives him more into isolation is the fact that he is in love with his one really good friend, and can't say anything to him because he's afraid of his reaction. While he's riding the train he sees a gay couple, then follows them curious about their lives. The rest of the movie is him figuring out who he wants to be and if he cares how the world perceives him. There is also a plot line about the gay couple themselves, and how they feel like they are being treated by society, and their families.
The acting wasn't very good, but they didn't seem to be any really professional actors in the bunch so it was more them doing the best they could. It wasn't ever glaringly bad, like it dragged the scenes or made it seem like the actors were uncomfortable saying the lines. It was more of actors looking at the camera every once and a while, and a smile while they were trying to get out dialogue.
The "sexy scenes" were a little more awkward that the rest of the movie, but thankfully there were only a few of them and easy to fast-forward through.
The music was okay for the most part, nothing to really pay attention to, but there were one or two parts where it just turned weird for no reason.
Overall I would recommend this movie to anyone willing to give an independent movie a shot. It was charming and was made really well with what little resources they seemed to have.