[Film Review] Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence poster
Title: Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
Year: 1983
Country: UK, Japan
Language: Japanese, English
Genre: Drama
Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Writers: Laurens Van de Post, Nagisa Ôshima
Music: Ryuichi Sakamoto
Cinematography: Tôichirô Narushima
David Bowie
Tom Conti
Ryuichi Sakamoto
Takeshi Kitano
Jack Thompson
Alistair Browning
Johnny Okura
James Malcolm
Rating: 8.5/10
Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence 1983
After watched this film, I need to be alone (though I watched it alone) and clear my thoughts for a while, before I could write any words.
Under a particular wartime surrounding, although flames of war has retreated as the backdrop, the predestinate individuals never get the chance to affranchise their innermost love, only leads a tragic story between a Japanese commander and a British slave.
This might not be the greatest films ever made, but I cannot deny the emotional resonance it has impacted on me. Two superstars of the rock era at that time from west and orient respectively, David Bowie and Ryuichi Sakamoto’s personal charisma works as the pillar of the film, their mutual feelings are constructed with an authentic and credible procedure, so that the whole film is way above just an unrequited love story.
The background of Bowie’s character with his relationship with his younger brother in their childhood is deftly portrayed too, which renders audiences another prospect which contrasts the Japanese prison camp setting. And his redemption to his brother was fulfilled eventually, the branch line is as appealing as the forbidden love.
The titular Mr. Lawrence is the main witness of the whole incident, “mad on mass”, is the deep-rooted bad habit of Japanese people which Mr. Lawrence yelled out loud in the film, director Nagisa was so valiant to make a film which explicitly exposes his own race’s weakness, also to my surprise his disciple Takeshi Kitano delivers a vivid performance as a Japanese aidedecamp before his luxuriant career as the most famous Japanese director of our generation.
FORBIDDEN COLOURS, the recurring theme song of the film composed by Ryuichi himself (I have the single version of the song which performed by David Sylvian with an additional lyric) is an everlasting melody one could ever forget once has watched the film.
I will definitely re-watch the film, cannot help putting it on my guilty pleasure list and will explore other works from Nagisa Oshima, maybe his most notorious film THE REALM OF THE SENSES (1976), could someone tell me am I ready?

One thought on “[Film Review] Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)

  1. Pingback: [Film Review] Max, Mon Amour (1986) – Cinema Omnivore

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s