A girl named Hana who was orphaned by the Hokkaido tsunami at the age of 10. She’s eventually taken in by a distant relative named Jungo and the two develop a loving relationship in spite of the emptiness she feels after losing her family. ~~ Based on Kazuki Sakuraba’s Naoki Prize-winning novel Watashi no Otoko. Add Synopsis In Spanish
Cast & Credits
That having said, the movie touches some taboo issues, but take them in the most natural way possible. it shows a dysfunctional man whose life goes even further away from from what can be called normal as he starts to live with a girl who has lost everything due to natural catastrophe. There are very few supporting characters and the background story remains vague which adds to the mysterious character of the movie.
It is slow paced, so you've got to be prepared for this. The viewer is supposed to feel the climate rather than be shocked and rushed through series of events. So take a good time for this two hours of tragic drama. And try to get swallowed by the emptiness of the coldest parts of Hokkaido.
The acting is superb. We've got two very different actors, acting-style wise, age wise, who managed to create an amazing emotional blend that creates a kind of awkward harmony. Needless to say, Asano Tadanobu greatness is very much visible here and he suits Jungo's character very well. On the other hand, very young Nikaido Fumi proves once again how versatile actress she is.
The few supporting ones are good as well and create rather coherent background.
Music is again a background issue that basically helps to set the mood and proves it really well.
As a summary, one more time: do not expect fireworks, if you look for entertainment it hardly there. But if you don't mind that you might get tangled up in something disturbingly beautiful.
If you think Vladimi Nabokov's "Lolita" was difficult to stomach or Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation was daring enough at the time it was released...well, expect My Man to level that up. With not only touches and kisses but straightforward intimate, sexual scenes between Nikaido and Asano will probably leave you disgusted, angry or just pure disturbed. But that's probably Kumakiri's goal. It's not the dialogue that will make you feel the emotions rather it's the actions with dripping rains of blood that symbolize this forbidden passion.
A lot of watchers compare this with The World of Kanako (which Nikaido also played a part) but I tell you, this is nothing like Kawaki. If Kawaki is fast-paced and overwhelming, My Man is slow-paced, ant-climatic yet its in the actors' performances that pulls you in and pulls the story in. Kumakiri omits a lot of explanation, how the characters feel, what they think, what others think, etc. which gives us, as viewers freedom yet it could also cause confusion especially in a film that explores such a story.
There are some foreshadowing, some repetition and more importantly, contrast. A lot of it. That's what makes each character stand out and it snowballs the plot (a good sentiment as the film is set in Hokkaido, the coldest region in Japan, expect to see lots of snow here). That setting makes you feel colder towards these characters (instead of warm) and it creates that distance to feel sympathize for Nikaido and Asano's relationship even as their characters start to descent into chaos and madness.
Nikaido as Hana is amazing (I mean she's only 1 year and 1 day older me and her boldness with this role). She deserves to be the "It" dramatic actress to watch out for (I heard she is amazing in Himizu as well, which I will watch after this!). She has this ability to portray a bubbly, energetic schoolgirl that LOOKS innocent yet holds deep secrecy (of the forbidden relationship and a traumatic past) and in some way, that makes her scary. And effective as an actress. She is able to portray Hana's deterioration because of this relationship not verbally but emotionally. Later on, she becomes a independent woman yet holds a sense of distant and quiet destruction inside of her but not with such a dull expression rather with the eyes. She carries herself and not let her older co-actors do that.
Asano works well with Nikaido (weird to say that but yes). He doesn't provide Jungo's character with anger or destructive features. Yet he also doesn't soften his character, through his actions we hate him. Through them, we don't feel bad at his dismay yet we can't utterly hate him because Asano doesn't make Jungo hate-able. In some ways, Nikaido's Hana carries his character as he becomes dependent on her yet Nikaido's performance blends in well with his.
This movie is not for everyone, definitely. Yes, it can be disturbing and not an easy watch and definitely twisted. But it's also such films that portray things that happen in society especially those who went through so much (whether it's right or wrong is up for debate and up to you). Though, if you expect a conclusion, don't. It seems that Asian films don't really have a solid one. Instead, focus on the journey of these two.