A 21-year-old girl is released from prison, only to deal with the neighborhood gossip about her and family conflicts. She decides to save one million yen, move to where no one knows her and keep repeating the process.
Although Yu Aoi has been in many films before, she has always shared the spotlight with others or has played minor supporting roles. For One Million Yen Girl, this is actually her first starring role where she is the undeniable main character and she gives a knock-out performance that's worth mentioning! Her expressions of shyness, embarrassment, awkwardness, determination and loneliness are played flawlessly! I don't know what it is about Yu, but it's always so easy to sympathize with her characters. She has a certain charm and elegance about her that can easily win over any audience.
As for the film, One Million Yen Girl is a crowd-pleasing movie with a positive message. Even though the film is a somewhat conventional "Search for Yourself" road movie, it has a not so conventional ending that I thought felt just right.
This was an outstanding performance by Ms. Aoi and I hope she gets more opportunities to showcase her talent and star in future films. Along with Hana & Alice, it should be noted that this is her best work yet and I think only shows how effective she can be if given decent material to work with.