Something about the film:
Quiet Room ni Youkoso is a 2007 dramedy telling the story of Asuka Sakura, a up-and-coming journalist who is trying to write an 800-character article, but one day wakes up and finds herself strapped inside the room of a psych ward. Inside, they tell her she had OD’ed, even when Asuka tells them it was an accident, they say she must go through mental treatment so she won’t do it again. During that time, she meets a few unique people that will or won’t mark her for the rest of her life…
Genre: Dramedy… mind you, Drama is pretty straight forward, but Comedy is pretty dark.
Starring: Yuki Uchida, Kankuro Kudo, Yu Aoi
Appearances by: Ryo, Shinobu Otake, Yuko Nakamura, Mai Takahashi, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Hideaki Anno, Shinya Tsukamoto, Kami Hiraiwa
Duration: Almost 2hrs
Spoilers ahead, you’ve been warned. Really, these spoilers may ruin your watching…
Quiet Room is the non-linear story of why Asuka (Yuki Uchida) ends up inside a mental clinic… or more accurately, a mental treatment facility. If you were to find its west counterpart, you could say Quiet Room is like a more bizarre version of Girl Interrupted, thing is… Quiet Room is more dramatic and much more hilarious than Girl Interrupted could ever be.
This film is really worth watching because of all the characters you encounter… I mean, Asuka is as normal as you can find here, I think~~~ First there’s Tetsuo (Kudo), Asuka’s butt-shower-Japanese-game-show-star roommate/boyfriend. He is really a star! You would wonder why, but then again I don’t get to watch his show. Tetsuo also has a borderline-retarded friend/assistant in Komono (Tsumabuki)… that’s all I have to say about him. LOL’
Inside the psych ward though, she meets an array of really picturesque (hint: hilariously weird) characters… like cyborg-esque Nurse Eguchi (Ryo), a hair-burning pyro (?), a calorie-burning-walker, a Lolita-esque patient, a Kimono-wearing woman who always tries to escape the ward, or the my-daughter-disowned-me-goodies-dealer-wig-wearer ex-porn-star (Shinobu Otake). LOL I mean, there are also characters like Sae (Mai Takahashi), and Miki (Yu Aoi) who are anorexic (although I think Miki could be bulimic), or your very-regular OD patient Kurita (Yuko Nakamura).
Now, color me fan-obsessed but Miki gave me the chills. I have seen my fair share of eating disorder films, and for the life of me… I can’t remember ever hearing a reason that didn’t make me roll my eyes until this. Maybe I’m not alone on this one, since I’ve read plenty reviews saying that Yu is quite good here, even though there are some really great performances throughout the film. However, I have a hunch people got hit blunted in the head by Miki because of it. Now, eating disorders are serious business, and we have heard a million times that it’s because of low self-esteem, and wanting to look thin like all the media lets us believe we could be… so whenever we hear the storyline, it’s always the same thing~~~ I’m fat, I wanna be thin… I don’t want to eat – but Miki (and Yu’s line delivery) tells you she wants to eat, but just can’t. Her low self-esteem has reached such level that she’s figure it out… whatever she eats would be a waste in her person, and that someone should be able to have it instead.
Now, onto more Yu. She lost a LOT of weight for this role, I remember reading something about ‘method acting’ and losing like 10 kilos (20ish pounds)? Can’t find it now, but I remember… Anyway, the weight loss bugged me a little – you can tell from some other film discussions – I just find that noticing shoulder blades is icky… let alone ribs, and eating disorder knees and elbows. I have bone-y hands and feet… it’s in my genes, but you could tell Yu lost a lot of weight because of the knuckles in her hands. And because losing and gaining weight quickly is dangerous for your health, this weight thing translates to various different films… and it’s very noticeable in Hyakuman-en, and partly on Shaking Tokyo.
PLUS, for all the guys out there saying they like them skinny… there is no such thing as skinny WITH boobs, just so you know. So if you ever get super skinny with boobs, you are very lucky~~~ but it’s very likely those boobs, aren’t real. Okay? So forget your anime fantasies with the boobalicious girly girls of the super thin waists… get over it, ya? For all of you, I suggest the film Real Women Have Curves.
|Yu Aoi Participation:|
|Yu Aoi Performance:|
Favorite Scene: I particularly liked two scenes. The one that gave me the chills, and the bit where she pokes her head into the Quiet Room, and you see the hint of a tear running down her face. But I’ll choose the one that gave me the chills… that scene, the line delivery… the look on her face.
Here’s some very few posters, stills and stuff. Yuki Uchida seems to be very tiny, in contrast to Yu. LOL
really a great film with a terribly sad and quite unexpected ending. Strong perfs from the whole cast and Yû Aoi’s supporting role does have some volume !!
I thought the ending was quite uplifting though… yes, it was sad that she decided not to have any sort of contact with them, but it was for her own good, no?
yes, but I’m referring to that woman she met while in the hospital, who gave her address and then that ambulance came… remember?
Yeah… but we weren’t that emotionally attached with Kurita, right? I took that as “look, Asuka might end up like that… but here’s to *raise glass* that not happening to her and getting a fresh start” LOL
um, that woman seemed to be cured, healthy and confident and the prospect of a friendly relationship with the main character sounded nice…so I found it hard to take with the ending, like an unfortunate twist of fate and a gloomy reminder of how fragile we are…
Hmm, I always felt like like she was always a bit off, always in a sort of fake sense of control…
*sighs* by the way, it feels so good to talk about these films hehe… thank you!
well, my pleasure. I’m very glad I found your site.
How do you think eating disorders fit into Japan, and overall Asian societies?
I’ve always felt that eating is important on that side of the world, considering I’ve seen a LOT of on-screen-eating on Asian movies and series… compared to let’s say~~ any American (and perhaps European) film or series.
One of the latest samples was Okuribito, they even managed to sneak some eating among all the deaths and rituals.
Even here on Quiet Room, Yu eats the food part of her therapy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Westerner bulimic or anorexic on-screen-eating. They always pick on their food, but never eat… it’s not normal. LOL
I don’t know really and I’m not very familiar with Korean and Chinese cultures so I can’t say much.
Seems to me that food is very important for the Japanese , for lots of reason (historical, ‘religious’…). I read a recent survey that claimed that the time budget the Japanese gave to meals ranked them in the toplist with countries like France.
There’s some Japanese idiom that basically says “give a Japanese man food and sex and he’ll be glad”. Tells a bit when it’s some proverb. (don’t know if it applies to women though…ahem)
Hello! I stumbled onto your blog while googling about Aoi Yu’s films after watching her on the BEAMS CM where she danced. :-)
Caught this film as your review interest me and it’s really cool to see her in a gothic get-up! She’s so versatile, I always thought of her as mori girl till now.
Just want to say that I really enjoy your entries and your passion and effort into writing!
Oh my! I haven’t gotten a Yu Aoi comment in quite a while, mainly because I’ve been terrible with keeping these reviews going… so thank you for your comment :)
The BEAMS CMs were such a spark of sunshine, huh? Hope you get to watch some more of her other films, and comment back~~~