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  • yusino17 May 2008
    As a 38 years old man, I have seen some classic movies and I enjoyed most of them. Chaplin, Ford, Ozu, Kurosawa, Fellini, Kubrick, Jarmusch, Miyazaki... I cannot describe how deeply I got influenced by their movies. But.

    You may say I am too sentimental in my nature (like those other Asian, I am Japanese by the way) to leave comments about movies here on IMDb. For example, I much prefer Chaplin's movies to Keaton's. That may tell you something. But.

    I even saw the original Tenkosei movie. And I understand many people say that the original is 'more attractive to film lovers' or 'better acted'. But. Still.

    "Tenkosei: Sayonara Anata" is one of the best films I have ever seen. Or frankly speaking, this movie tops them all. This movie gave me indescribably profound emotion. This is not just about boy-meets-girl-and-they-switch-their-bodies show. This movie rather reaches me like a matter of 'why we are ourselves' and 'why we love someone', the motif similar to "La Strada".

    I have no idea why I say things stupid like 'the best movie of all-time in the whole wide world' in the 21st century. There is no common ground for us all any more, and never a universal sense of value even within myself. Or maybe there is. Because there used to be there and some of them might be able to remain. I slightly sensed that the tears I shed (awful lot) all through the last half of the movie were a bit childish. As a child I cried. Director Obayashi here talks to us as children, who got ripped from mothers' bodies, being in love with ourselves, and will be in love with someone else. Anyway "Tenkosei: Sayonara Anata" deals with birth and death, and more importantly, to grow up. The universal theme, I think.

    However I really understand why many people do not appreciate this movie. Unlike the early Tenkosei movie which gained many applause, this re-make has a lot of weakness. Expect other people to name the list, I only say those weakness did not bother me at all because 'the universal theme' in the latter half of the movie was so powerful. This powerfulness did not exist in the early version of the movie, rarely in other movies, too.

    This is just my impression of the movie. I write this because the movie worths more exposure.
  • ethSin24 February 2008
    A self-remake of multi-award winning 1982 film by director Oobayashi Nobuhiko, "Tenkousei" is about two junior high students switching bodies. This plot has been done many, many times in film already, but this is a very unique, experimental film. First of all, every single scene is tilted in random angles between 5~45 degrees. It took me a while to get used to it, but it was able to create some incredible scenes. The cinematography on this film was the most beautiful I've seen in any movie, including American and other Asian movies. Music was equally touching, and accompanies beautiful scenes very well. This movie is 2 hours in length, but the time will just fly by thanks to an excellent flow.

    The lead actress, Renbutsu Misako had an extremely weak presence in "Battery", but she did an excellent job here. She is very attractive and has a big potential. I will definitely be closely following her career. Both actors did a very convincing opposite sex, especially considering they are still child actors.

    This film is particularly interesting because the transition from the first half to the second is extremely smooth. Before you know it, it turns from a fast-paced comedy into complex drama, and while you were laughing through the first half, you might be crying through the second half. Although this movie is such a cliché in so many ways, it really connected with me and moved me. The ending was slightly draggy, but thanks to the great music accompanying beautiful sceneries, it sank in even more. I have not seen the original, but I absolutely loved this movie, a masterpiece IMO.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It cracks me up the way the Japanese (and the Koreans do this too), concoct these un-named, incurable diseases and then treat them as just another plot point, no big deal really. Someone dies here, but this information isn't really a spoiler because it doesn't matter. It's not what the movie is about. Switching - Goodbye Me is the story of two fifteen year old kids, a boy and a girl, who switch bodies and learn about themselves, their relationships, and love. It's a theme that's been done before. In fact, Switching - Goodbye Me is a remake by the same director of a very well received film he made in 1982 called I Are You, You Am Me (Tenkosei).

    Switching - Goodbye Me is filled with beautiful cinematography that seems a pay grade above the level of film it's operating in. The acting is all very good, especially from the two teenagers gender-hopping as the leads, and the script is quirky smart. I was a little surprised by the very casual but to-the-point dialog about nuts and boobs and "body parts that change shape" when you touch them. Not because I don't think fifteen year olds talk about these things but because these two fifteen year olds are presented as something close to the epitome of innocence. That's the beauty of this film. It's somewhat skewed all the way through. Even the camera angles are all mostly from off the horizontal plane. And the typically Japanese ability to hurl fast-paced absurd dialog at you with a straight face makes for an odd yet peaceful roller-coaster ride.

    The first hour of the film is pretty much comedy, turning a bit more dramatic for the second hour. The ending is a slow fizzle which attempts to wrap things up with an upbeat message when it really just rolls over and plays dead. But it doesn't matter. Unless you know for sure you don't like movies about teenagers, I highly recommend this film. It's a family film with a subversive yet sweet underbelly. Kids will get the weirdness and parents will never feel like things have gone too far. The characters are well-developed and likable and it's a very good looking film. A final shout out to both of the teenage actors. They do a remarkable job of channeling the opposite sex, mostly through body language and speech patterns. Switching - Goodbye Me should leave you smiling most of the way through.