Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Shall We Dance|
Actors: Kôji Yakusho, Tamiyo Kusakari, Naoto Takenaka, Eri Watanabe, Yu Tokui
Director: Masayuki Suo
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
Here's the irresistible comedy treat that had critics and audiences cheering all across America ... and inspired the new Hollywood hit starring Richard Gere (CHICAGO), Jennifer Lopez (MAID IN MANHATTAN), and Susan Sarandon... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Paul M. (BookMan49) from WHEATON, IL
Reviewed on 4/7/2009...
A lovely story of a hard pressed office worker who finds joy in learning to dance. In my opinion better than the Richard Gere version.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Why tamper with perfection
Andy Orrock | Dallas, TX | 09/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I see over one hundred well-written summaries on these pages, with an average five-star rating. While adding my rave review to the list, I ask the question: Why tamper with perfection? The US-made re-make is about to hit the screens with A-list cast Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez, and Susan Sarandon. I know for a fact that a large majority of the U.S. population will never watch a subtitled film, so I can understand the reason for re-making it. However, I think everyone who has written here will agree that there's no way this Gere/Lopez/Sarandon re-make will capture the spirit of the original, certainly not the two driving forces that propel it.
First, there's the drudgery of the Japanese salaryman...like millions of others Tokyo-based wage slaves, Koji Yakusho's unhappy accountant takes his hours-long train ride home each evening, beaten down a bit more by his lot in life. He spies a dance studio, a dancer...and slowly - night after night - develops a small dream. The night he finally decides to get off the train is a magnificent scene...there's a complete struggle going on inside his body to hop off and stay off that train. I wonder how the re-make will possibly capture even a smidgen of that angst.
Second, there are the strong mores of Japanese society and the overrriding ethos of "the upright nail gets hammered down." In the U.S., to a large extent, the spirit of the individual endures - if you want to dance, you dance. In Japan, not only is Koji Yakusho's character battling himself, he's battling his country's perception of his decision to dance, which basically can be summarized as: "Guys don't." Again, I challenge the re-make to capture this tension.
I will point out that I'm not dead set against any re-make: I'm a big fan of the Argentinian film "Nueve Reinas," and thought that 2929 Entertainment's recently released "Criminal" really compared quite well to the original. Still, I urge those of you with any interest in seeing the upcoming release of "Shall We Dance" to do yourself a favor and invest 118 minutes in the original, a great look at Japanese society."
A touching, humorous, very human film
LANCE R LINDLEY | Yokosuka, Japan | 11/25/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Shall We Dance" is a great film about a typical, aging Japanese "salaryman" searching for a break from his dreary existence. What starts as a fantasy about a dance teacher he sees from the window of his train becomes an actual passion for dancing that changes his outlook on life and his relationships with those around him. I haven't seen the subtitled version, but the original Japanese version is clever, well-paced, and contains just the right dash of humor, especially Takenaka Naoto as the dance-mad coworker. This movie touched off a ballroom dance craze in Japan; whether it can affect Americans the same way is doubtful, but it's still a great little movie for anyone who enjoys foreign films."
Shall We DVD?
Andy Orrock | 05/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Since this movie is one that I could easily watch over and over, I have been waiting for it to come out on DVD. You don't have to know anything about ballroom dancing to enjoy it; it's simply a story of breaking out of the day-to-day drabness and doing something you love.I have several favorite characters in the movie; one is the private detective who's hired by the main character's wife to find out where he's been going at night. The private eye is all business at first, but after tailing his client's husband, he slowly gets drawn into the world of competitive dancing. The other is the shy, overweight, diabetic young man who takes up dancing on his doctor's orders to get some exercise. The scene where he bursts into tears, asking, "Am I really so terrible?" (I forget the exact words) had me in tears myself. The change in this character by the end of the film is amazing.It's a cliché, but this is a true "feel good" movie, and proof that you don't have to have sex, profanity, and violence to have an engrossing adult film."