Sunday, 22 May 2011


BECK [Review]

Opinion: C+

Pacing woes mainly from lacklustre editing has capped the film from surging towards a greater cinematic summit as the film material would have made a wonderful inspirational source for like-minded youth filled with dreams and aspirations. An alarming lack of earworm tracks is also noted, which should have been common of such genre films. Nevertheless, the chemistry and tension between them were properly dealt with although it took almost 2.5 hours to achieve so.

Based on a best-seller comic book by Harold Sakuishi filled with energy and excitement!
An ordinary high school student Koyuki is bored of his life style and have nothing much of a future. One day, Koyuki meets a gifted guitar player Ryusuke Minami (Hiro MIZUSHIMA) who has just come back from New York City. Ryusuke forms a rock band BECK (named after his dog’s name) with other talented musicians. The band members became aware of Koyuki’s hidden talent as a singer and a guitar player. Maho, Ryusuke’s little sister was one of the first to discover his gifted talent, and she became the biggest supporter of Koyuki as they fall in love.

You might get restless from the start as the film indulges in random cut scenes placed together that might cause slight confusion and distraction. BECK cuts straight in to perform touch-and-go introductory highlights of each of its five protagonists who will ultimately form a band that is destined to inspire and change the world through their music.

Named after the pet dog of the band leader Ryusuke, we also have in the band: Koyuki,  Saku, Taira, and Chiba. Despite being a film about a band, it unfortunately places a biased focus on Ryusuke and Koyuki, relegating the other three as supporting roles.

Not to say that there's nothing likable about the rest. There's a lot of energetic vibes felt within the interactions between the five, especially once the five's membership are settled as they each begin to explore their roles and destinies in BECK. Chiba provides the majority of the comical relief with his blatant rash acts and expressions, while Koyuki has a sideline plot romance with Ryusuke's sister Maho.

Let's just say that the romance was, functional to the plot at best.

Despite having such an amazing theme about five teenagers coming together to fulfill their dreams, the film's ability to gel all the plot pieces together in unity is in the way of BECK achieving sensational glory.

Less towards the later section of the film where the band participates in a prestigious local rock festival, the film feels draggy and irregularly paced. It might be considered that the film intended to stay faithful to the manga series that it's based upon, thus trying to fit as much of character development and interaction as best as possible.

Perhaps that's the reason why there's a lack of pleasing earworms that we've expected to experience.

BECK made three songs throughout the film, one punk rock track "EVOLUTION" with two rock ballads "Looking Back" and "Moonbeams". On an interesting note, they've emphasised on Koyuki's talent for vocals and they've visually portrayed the imagery feel of his singing but never audible in the film (as it's left to the audience's imagination).

It's very much a love/hate affair with that decision.

That much said, it's probably the three songs that might be the deciding factor if you should watch this film, so here are the songs:


Moonbeams (Original track: BOY by Spank Page)

Looking Back - cover version (Didn't manage to locate the original)


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