In Japanese with English and Chinese Subtitles
Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro
Starring: Yusuke Santamaria, Manami Konishi,
Tortoise Matsumoto, Kyoka Suzuki, Takeshi Masu, Jin Katagiri
RunTime: 2 hrs 15 mins
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films
Official Website: http://www.udon.vc/movie/
Opening Day: 17 May 2007
Kosuke is 31 and tired of his hometown where nothing happens.
On a whim, he departs for New York with dreams of making it
big but return defeated and with debt. Little does he realises
upon his return, that he would rediscover the town’s
- and the rest of the world’s - fixation with udon.
We cannot imagine why anyone won’t fall in love with
this Japanese noodle after watching this pleasing film about,
well, udon noodles. To the untrained taste bud, this Asian
dish may just be another noodle made with wheat flour served
in boringly bland soup.
it could be just be another time-saving meal you quickly conjure
by tearing up an instant noodle packet, chunking its contents
into a pot of boiling water, and presto, five minutes later
– a seemingly delicious meal.
that’s your idea of udon noodles, then you are missing
out on a lot. Similarly, this movie requires your appreciation
of the rich Japanese culture of family and love so that you
can bring home with you a wholesomely satisfying experience.
Katsuyuki Motohiro sets his latest film in his hometown Kawaga
Prefecture (well known for its udon noodles) where the son
of an udon shop owner returns home after spending an unfulfilled
six years in New York. Upon his homecoming, his re-discovery
for the noodle will bring about an unexpected life-changing
experience of hope, love and human victory.
feel-good for your liking? Too predictable for your intellectual
mind? Too stereotyped for a Japanese movie?
are the instant concerns that will come to your quick-thinking
mind upon reading the movie’s plot. But there is a unique
power of Japanese pictures like this that ensures it to be
an instant crowd-pleaser.
previous works include the hilariously exciting Space Travelers
(2000) and the colorfully engaging Bayside Showdown 2 (2003).
It is no wonder then, to see the filmmaker effortlessly helming
this agreeable and enjoyable work.
man Yusuke Santamaria may not be your typical Prince Charming,
but there is an earnest personality about this 36-year-old
actor that will win your heart. Playing his potential love
interest is Manami Konishi, who manages to be goofy without
the 134-minute runtime may not go down well with the more
intolerant viewer (especially when you can expect what’s
to come half an hour into the movie), there are certain bits
that will have you smiling from ear to ear.
documentary-styled narrative will make you sit up with its
charming approach, where hundreds of Japanese locals embrace
and celebrate their love for udon noodles. The picturesque
scenes of the small rural town will also make you wish you
could leave behind the bustling city you live in.
to say, there are some mouth-watering shots of the delectable
udon noodles in their full luscious glory. And thanks to our
gluttony nature, it is oh-so-simple to look beyond the metaphorical
symbolism of the noodle being people’s soul food.
you really care?
(Despite the movie’s predictability and lengthy
runtime, it is still a pleasantly entertaining film that will
have you smiling throughout)
Review by John Li