So dear Readers, I managed to steal time to watch something from the latest purchase. I really shouldn’t but to hell with that! How am I supposed to resist?! I have been waiting for these DVDs to appear since May…MAY! You will have to forgive me for lacking the necessary will-power to resist until I was done with all this college work! And so, since it arrived last and on its own for some un-fathomable reason (seriously I don’t know why! Everything was supposed to be shipped together but for some reason FLARE was split from the rest! Like they couldn’t wait just one day for it to arrive and ship the whole thing? They could wait months but not a day!?). Any way I have managed to watch FLARE, just finished it in fact (Usually I write the post the next day but not today!) and…
Yes, YES! Oh God, YES!
You know I ain’t gonna lie, I was worried, super worried especially after good Misty went and planted a seed of doubt in my mind! I kid you not I was thinking about things since I saw that comment. Wondering if there was a different trailer that I haven’t seen which tells more of the actual story. I was super worried that I walked into this one! And then the fact that the first half of the movie didn’t have any Saki (Alice) when I finally started watching and instead had plenty of guys, my worries sky-rocketed to dangerous levels! So dangerous in fact that I almost quite half way and instead go to another (surely 5tsu wouldn’t let me down, surely).
But there was this Angel inside looking out for me who kept reminding me that what I saw in the trailer I saw was real! Kept telling me to hang in there until I saw at least one of the scenes from the trailer! And so I waited and waited and…
The reward was most delicious!
Fukuda Mayuko as Flare
Hirose Alice as Saki
Now, where to start? Well, since I already said it I might as well begin from there. This is one of those movies, you know, that one that you might never have even thought of watching (if you watch movies for the yuri like I), a movie that you would just simply ignore until someone managed to suffer through it and found that hidden gem that forced you to hunt it down (a tough job especially since usually much time would have passed – not this time though) and watch it because of that one scene. Except this one is nothing like those cheeky movies exactly, like you know, a certain Scarlet letter (Korean). But I am getting ahead of myself here.
What I mean to say is that the first half of this movie, even simply reading the plot in fact would turn a many community heads without even giving it a thought. So there is this French photographer (cool Dude so I will use his name this time), who is in a real pinch and totally wishing he had never come to Japan. He owes money to really bad people who beat him up whenever they get a chance (seriously even girls beat this guy up, Saki included, he was just so miserable) but the only way he can make a living is through his photographs.
Things aren’t looking good for him though and one day as le leaves a shop, he stumbles into flare, a muse-personified for Jean (that’s his name). He is simply over-thrown with her beauty and so he asks her if he can take a photo of her. And that is how these two meet and the movie turns into their story. Much to my misery!
But I wasn’t about to fast-forward after spending that amount of cash on this DVD, nope! So I suffered through the excruciating minutes that felt like hours without even looking off to the side as Flare developed feelings for Jean to the point of her
forking, I mean stabbing jean’s girlfriend with a fork, a FORK people! At that point I was like, oh man, there goes any chance of yuri! If she is going as far as to kill someone (well we don’t really know if the girl died but we definitely don’t see her again, then again many a character went missing through out the course of this movie, especially the 2nd half, which is super awesome by me!)
Yeah, it wasn’t a pleasant experience in those early minutes of this movie but I kept the faith going! And man, was I very fabulously rewarded! I kept trying to figure out how Saki would fit into all of this and with every minute that passed without her, I got even more lost as to what her role is in all of this! No main, let alone supporting character make their debut way over the first half! But the Flare stabbed that woman and things just fell into place like dominos when I saw the police take her away from the crime scene with the victim screaming bloody murder(which was right on the money actually).
I remembered Saki’s character from the trailer of her being kind of a bitch so when I saw Flare being taken away, I just knew the moment I had been waiting for was about to happen! She was going to
jail probation house where Saki was 100% bound to be! Not only was she there but she was already fascinated by Flare even before Flare got there.
Here is the thing though – In the movie, their first meeting seems to suggest that they had never met before and yet Saku knows things about Flare that only childhood best friends, nay, family members would know about. So it seems to me that Saki as a history, or the two of the do have a history that we are never told about. But I am not here to dissect, so let’s get on with things.
Saki really takes a shine to Flare but it a really twisted shine! She is like those elementary boys that only know to show their love for that girl by being really mean to them. Saki was the same! At times she was super nice and other times a real bitch to Flare but Bitch was her middle name so it was more surprising seeing her be nice to Flare, a girl she had just met (I think). Flare isn’t all Angelic towards Saki either. She played the tsun-dere game really well! Despite that though, her behaviour towards Saki took me off kilter a little as well. I mean she had just stabbed a woman with a fork in her pancreas over some guy and yet she lets Saki get away with harassing her like that? There has to be a history we weren’t told between these two I tell you!
Saki’s first good deed comes during the ‘cheek-lick’ scene as I like to call it! She offers to kill Flare’s mother for her (you know what she did if you watched the trailer) and while those not of the community, or those with less experience might dismiss Flare’s reply towards that suggestion, it was actually a positive one. It’s like calling someone you love ‘Idiot’ with a smile on your face. It’s that kind of different meaning that shows that Flare was touched by Saki’s show of care towards her.
The next moment came when Saki offered to sneak Flare out of the probation home and take her to see Jean. Poor Jean wasn’t in the best of positions when Flare walked in on him with his arms around another woman (the Curator I believe). He was only trying to calm her down but of course from the eyes of someone in love with him, Flare took that the wrong way (okay, maybe not wrong since Jean is a player). Saki pulls another one on us when she takes Flare away from that painful scene to go have some sweets. But even there the powers that be were not done being mean because in here comes Saki’s enemies, no doubt very keen on picking a fight. They try to pull Flare into it just because she was staring at them but again, three times in a night, Saki saves the day by accepting their invitation and they take it outside! Saki kicks major ass but she was out-gunned three to one so she of course got her beef handed to her! But dear Readers if her coolly standing up with a bleeding face like it wasn’t no thing totally stole my heart, and in fact so was Flares in that moment! Yes, she had come to watch and the look on her face as a bloody Saki walked towards her was just…WOW!
Saki leads Flare to a motel (sex motel?) where she gets a room for them (prolly for her just to clean-up…nah) and where the moment that heaven smiled upon me happened! Okay, not to be a smart-ass but I knew something was going to happen and that it would be awesome in this scene because it seemed that it was Flare who initiated the intimacy, not Saki there. And when I finally watched the scene the happiness that washed over me, dearest Readers! I honestly to God did not think nor did I have any expectations of things going as far as a kiss! I mean this is Alice and Mayuko we are talking about here! They are young big names in japan! You can’t just have them kissing like that, especially on the big screen where shitty asian tv-
drama kisses don’t make the cut!
Well, the surprise was on me and what a good one! If I had gotten a heart attack I wouldn’t even have become a ghost of vengeance! that’s how happy I was, still am about this movie!
And the best thing is that it wasn’t just a simple peck on the lips! Nor did they do it only once! I think I counted three times that their lips came apart and back together again but I have to watch it a third time to make sure! And God, what kisses! They were so very, I don’t know, romantic? You know those kisses that are in the middle ground of light and deep at the same time yet give off an air of innocent love? It was like that! Believe you me innocent these two aren’t! Flare even had sex with strangers just so she could help Jean out. Seriously she was so super in love with the guy that it baffles me how strong Saki attracts her for Flare to have fallen for her! Then again Saki did say that Flare was only attracted to Flare because she missed a father figure in her life, which might have been true actually.
Any way it was super implied that things went further than that kiss we got to see which I have no qualms with because honestly, I was not even expecting a kiss so I am all good! Also the fact that I know it happened, is enough! And of course even right after that moment that should have been a defining moment in their relationship, Saki’s inner bitch re-surfaces when she writes down all the night’s happenings in her kinda-journal! Obviously when Flare finds out she isn’t happy and gives Saki the silent treatment. Saki of course seeks Flare out and says that if Flare wants to hurt her, there are more effective means than ignoring her but me thinks that Flare called it because Saki was obviously affected by Flare’s ignoring her seeing as she was seeking her out every where! Seems to me that the feelings are now mutual.
It’s at this good time that Jean decides to drop in for a visit! Flare’’ still remembers though, all those times she’s been hurt by Jean but the poor guy didn’t mean to. It’s not like they were going steady or anything, in fact I doubt that Jean had any romantic feelings towards Flare but he really cared for her. He decides to break the ice the only he can, by taking photos of Flare, just like their first meeting. Flare though isn’t having none of that. She let’s out all her frustrations as she pounces on Jean and girly punches him. He is saved by the staff who take Flare away but they forgot something!
Saki was present and watched the whole thing, was even surprised at Flare’s violent behaviour that she hadn’t displayed before, well towards Saki. But when Flare is taken away, she mis-interprets Flare’s anger towards Jean thinking that it was Jean’s photo-taking that disturbed Flare so.. See all Saki knows is that Flare’s mother used to abuse her using the same device that Jean was holding. And so Saki lost it thinking that Flare’s had been reminded of her childhood days when her mother apparently used to take naked pictures of her or something. Saki went full nutters on poor Jean and had to be retrained by three guys!
The time comes where Flare is released (I guess the woman is still alive?) but she tries to sneak out without saying goodbye to Saki. Really? Flare? Really?!! But Saki owns this place, the walls tell her things so she gets to Flare before she leaves. My heart is breaking thinking that this is it! Flare is going back to Jean and they will make up and move to France and have lots of crazy good-looking kids and live happily ever after! For crying out loud she even refused to take Saki’s number. Like, really Flare, really?!!! Do you have any idea how much pride Saki had to stomp on to give you that!! I was disappoint at this moment that I just figured the ending was gonna such!
But I was proved wrong not once, but twice by this movie and I couldn’t have been any happier! In those last few minutes a lot of things happened which told of the huge amount of time that had passed! Great things being that Flare and Jean were done! The story wasn’t just about them anymore! Even as I waited for the other shoe to drop and Flare go running back to the sexy French photographer, it didn’t happen. Well, she went to see him but things didn’t go all out of whack on us like I was expecting!
On the other side of things, Flare had turned into Saki’s stalker! She would go to this place where Saki, who now no longer played the delinquent role but had decided to actually do something, was handing out fliers. Flare went to see her many times but she never quite made her presence known. Not yet any way.
That did not mean that she couldn’t take a photo of Saki though, which she did and took back to the gallery. Yes, our Flare seemed to have had a passion for photography that was awoken by Jean. She takes her shoots to the same gallery as Jean and so it doesn’t take long before they bump into each other, for one last time hopefully!
And last time it was because Jean was there to say goodbye. He was going back to France! But here came also the kicker! Was Flare, who seemed to hate her family and was a drifter in Japan going to drop everything and go to France with Jean? Actually it seemed like that scene was leading up to that decision. When Jean walks out, Flare drops her things and runs off after him! At that moment I was throwing my hands back ready to scream bloody murder at the un-fairness of it all! Had I just been deceived all over again?
And seeing Jean who was heading down towards the train station, pausing and turning back as if expecting Flare coming running to him did nothing to help! I was near tears i tell you dear Readers!
But moment later my eyes grow bigger than a plate and my heart-rate picks to to make the Flash jealous when I see Flare and looking behind her, I see the familiar background of that part of town where Saki hands out fliers! Queue the camera panning to Saki and I tell you right now I literally screamed!
Did they like, just do the option thing and did the girl actually just pick the girl over the guy?! And not just any guy, a hot and tall sexy French Photographer at that! I needed some time to take that in! To actually get it through my skull that Flare just chose Saki over Jean!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh Why isn’t this movie with Eng. subtitles?! For crying out loud almost a quarter of it is in English even the titles and credits are in English, also co-directed by an English speaking man so what gives!?! I want ot understand 100% my movie darn it! then again, this means that it won’t be long until an English release of the DVD so I have to wait a bit!
Any way going back to the movie, Flare asks Saki to be her waifu, I mean her model and seeing the importance of this request that has had her stalking Saki all those times also factoring in the fact that Jean’s lover was also his model and the other fact of there being some nudes (which Flare did for jean as well but got rejected, kinda) AND that smile on Saki’s face that could only mean YES and that right there was a marriage proposal if I ever saw one! Also the fact that the last shot in the movie was the camera zooming out out that scene of them standing there among a crowd of moving people on the street just staring in each other’s eyes is all that I needed to seal the deal that this is in fact a GREAT END!
Yep, Flare just took the cake to join my favourite movies list! It matters not that the first half was very disappointing but the second half made up for that in volumes over! While Saki was absent in those first minutes, the guys in those minutes disappeared when Saki appeared! I swear it’s like the Director was like; Um sorry guys but we found our way, you are no longer needed so please get lost! Seriously the characters just poofed into thin air after Saki arrived on the scene! Then again, they were centred around Jean and since Jean wasn’t the focus anymore…
Anyway Flare is a really satisfying movie! I am so glad I decided to sit through those first minutes! I was totally repaid in full with some interest so I am very happy! And as per usual, you my Readers can also enjoy my pleasure so here you go….Oh and also JF is included. I haven’t even watched it yet so in fact you are going to see it before I even get to watch it. You lucky foos ^^