films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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Solid pieces

Moonlight Shadow

Mûnraito Shadou
2021 / 93m - Japan
Drama, Romance
Moonlight Shadow poster

Malaysian director Edward Yeo has found in Japan a very fitting place to produce his dramas. The country has a strong and respected tradition making drama cinema, on the other hand it does make it quite a bit harder to stand out from the crowd. Though Yeo makes a commendable effort, I think that's where he still struggles a bit.

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Moonlight Shadow revolves around two couples who are also best friends. Their time spent together is lovely, but it is cut short when two of the four die in a traffic accident. The remaining two struggle to come to terms with their loss and remember a story about the moonlight shadow being able to reunite people with the dead.

Nana Komatsu is a perfect lead, the score and cinematography are very pleasant, and the plot creates ample opportunities for the drama to shine. The only thing missing is a level of finesse and/or nuance that makes the best Japanese dramas more palatable than the competition. It's all a bit too obvious at times, other than that a fine film.

The inoffensive


2020 / 112m - Japan
Malu poster

A solid drama that aims to be slightly more poetic than it can muster. Cinematography and score aren't quite strong enough to support the slow pacing and the drama gets a little overbearing because of that. There's quality here though and with a bit of fine-tuning I'm sure that over time Yeo could deliver a masterpiece.

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Two sisters are reunited after their mother dies. It's clear from the start that there's a lot of unaddressed drama and anger in their past, caused by the erratic behavior of their mother. The sisters lose sight of each other once again and won't be in contact until one of them turns up dead in Japan.

Performances are good, the cinematography is decent and the score acceptable, but it all feels a bit too safe. Just a little too predictably arthouse, which made it harder than necessary to get really invested in the characters. The potential is there though, and I'm certain to give Yeo another shot, but I expected a tad more from this one.