7.4/10
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13 user 4 critic

Taiyô no uta (2006)

Kaoru dreamily gazes from her bedroom window each morning just before dawn. She can see a stretch of the beach in front of her parent's house on a hill in Kamakura, but focuses upon the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yui ...
Kaoru Amane
...
Koji Fujishiro
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kuniko Asagi ...
Yuki Amane
Eri Fuse
Gaku Hamada
Kintarô Hara
Jun Kaname ...
Kudou Youhei
Gorô Kishitani ...
Ken Amane
Ken Koba
Takashi Kobayashi
Magy
Sôgen Tanaka ...
Haruo Kato
Airi Tôriyama ...
Misaki Matsumae
Tomohito Wakizaki
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Storyline

Kaoru dreamily gazes from her bedroom window each morning just before dawn. She can see a stretch of the beach in front of her parent's house on a hill in Kamakura, but focuses upon the activity at the bus stop where Koji and his two best friends meet before going surfing. The appearance of the sun causes her to lowers the blinds and go to sleep for she suffers from Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP) and exposure to the sun's rays has had the potential to kill her. At night she walks to the train station, plays her guitar and sings songs she has written, commonly returning home just a few minutes before it starts getting light. One morning she is at the bus stop singing when Koji arrives. Liking the song she was singing, he promises to go and listen to her perform as a street musician the first day of summer vacation but finds a loud and off-key man has occupied her spot. Koji improvises and takes her to Yokahama on his motor bike where her singing immediately draws a crowd. Koji marvels at ... Written by Brian Greenhalgh

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Drama | Romance

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17 June 2006 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

A Song to the Sun  »

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1.85 : 1
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Remade as Midnight Sun (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Midnight Sun Shines a Bright Light on an Already Overly Familiar Storyline

Midnight Sun is a film I looked high and low for; hoping that my time spent would be well worth it. Midnight Sun will no doubt bring to mind films like A Walk to Remember, and considering there are a number of features out there that depict couples where one of them is gravely ill, the film does indeed have a sense of predictability. Despite this, it is cute, inspiring, youthful and tender, and though there are sadder films of a similar nature out there (I'm looking at you A Millionaire's First Love), this film is still capable of making you shed a tear (or ten).

Kaoru (Yui) is a teenage girl whose main connection with the outside world is her window. She sits and stares by day at the lives of those outside, unable to join them because of a rare genetic disorder that makes a case of bad sunburn the least of her worries. The feature packs in enough information about her condition to help us understand its severity, and makes Kaoru even more sympathetic.

The relationship Kaoru has with her parents (played by Goro Kihitani and Kuniko Asagi) is a distant one, not least because of their peripheral role. This is a shame considering how entertaining they are. By day, her parents work, and even when they are home, Kaoru feels some resentment, for being denied the same opportunities as her peers, while also treating them like her best friends (which may remind viewers of the Korean film ...ing).

Though her friend Misaki (Airi Toriyama) stops by often to talk about school, Kaoru's main joy is the night, when she can go out and busk, Yui's vocal and guitar skills been an incredible joy to watch. Though both she and Jamie Sullivan are ill and musically talented, the resemblance ends there, Kaoru longing not only for normality, but for love.

Every day, Koji (Takashi Tsukamoto) a teenage boy, walks by Kaoru's window, his life, regardless of how plain he modestly makes it seem, filling her with a deep desire to meet him. Though stuck at home for most of her life, Kaoru demonstrates how confident she is when she chases after him one evening when they happen to meet, resulting in an awkwardly cute and enjoyably humorous moment. Her lack of experience talking with boys makes for a bad first impression, though it's clear when they meet again that Koji has been smitten.

Despite her condition, Kaoru maintains a healthy degree of confidence, she and Koji inspiring one another to see each other's talents. Though the leads are young, there is no denying their acting chops in this coming of age film about identity, sacrifice, love and maturity. Though the audience is constantly aware of Kaoru's condition, the film does not burden us with constant reminders, instead allowing the love story to blossom, while Kaoru's battle slowly becomes the highlight of the narrative.

Themes like jealousy, cynicism or rage are not present, the film, despite its content, focusing more on beauty than anything else, which makes for an enjoyable two hours. Music plays a strong role in the film, and when not been serenaded by Yui's voice, the strings of violins are being plucked to create an emotional score that fits perfectly with the drama.

Though I could add the film does little in the way of making new content, considering we are all well versed in the story of boy meets girl; boy falls for girl; boy finds girl is sick, Midnight Sun does this in such a way that the familiar story still feels fresh and entertaining. Perhaps sometime next year the film will get the extra attention it deserves with the arrival of the American remake.


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