Been a while since I watched a Japanese Movie (the last one was way back in year 2015, on an ANA round trip flight to Tokyo). Recently came across this romance movie titled Evergreen Love and decided that something simple, light and heartwarming will be the way to go for some weekend entertainment (especially after having my mood spoilt by a not very nice client on a Sunday).
The Plot Synopsis For Evergreen Love 植物図鑑:
Sayaka (Mitsuki Takahata) works at an office. She’s not very good at her job or with love. One night, she finds a man, Itsuki (Takanori Iwata), collapsed in front of her home. She takes him inside and they begin to live together. Itsuki teaches Sayaka about cooking wild herbs and collecting wild herbs, but he has a secret.
In spite of the uber-brief official synopsis which states that the male protagonist sort of has a secret, in actual plot terms, there is nothing really mysterious as it is really just a simple, feel-good love story that doesn’t require one to go very deep into plot analysis. Moreover so as the source material was from a novel.
No major spoilers, but what I did like about the movie is that there is no 3rd party / antagonist to come in between the main couple. And that the ‘Evergreen’ part links to the male lead’s love (and subsequently life work) for herbs of all kinds. And how the seemingly abstract herbs end up being creatively incorporated into some form of heart-warming and delicious cuisine that the main couple sits down to enjoy together (a further catalyst for their budding relationship). And the cinematography work has some really beautiful colours (in the parts when we go from spring to summer) – which give it a soft and dreamy feel as fitting for a romance movie.
And in the final third, when Itsuki eventually leaves after 6 months, only to come back 1 year later, there is an additional touch of realism in the sense that one needs to go away and plant themselves in a different environment in order to find their way in life, and perhaps eventually leading to their true calling. Of course, the separation was sad for Sayaka, but I guess in that period, she learnt what it was like having loved, and self-love and building up her own inner-strength in the process.
Not gonna talk about the ending, but rather that Takanori Iwata is cute and easy on the eye *grin* (even though acting chops are not quite there yet as the female lead is the stronger one in terms of acting skills). Had ZERO idea on who he was until google once again came to the rescue and turns out he’s actually a Sandaime J Soul Brothers member (performer aka dancer to be exact). Have not followed JPop for ages so have zero idea about the type of music they do, although they are currently very popular in Japan.