Orange [オレンジ] Review
Orange is an ode to how beautiful the sunset can look. Why would you want to skip a movie that highlights the best part of the day, huh?
Alternatively, for the people who do not like staring at the sunset (are there people like that?!!) it’s also a tale of how friendship and love, can save someone’s life; both literally, and figuratively.
Takamiya Naho (Tsuchiya Tao) is a highschool student that gets a letter from her 10 years older self (…yeah there is the “conundrum” of time-travel and parallel universe; if you can’t suspend your disbelief on that, you might want to skip it!) informing her of current events, and how she should alter them, in order to prevent a tragedy that is bound to take place. Everything is connected to Naruse Kakeru (Yamazaki Kento) her new classmate, who wrestles with the guilt of his mother’s suicide, which eventually leads him on to follow the same path.
Naho, along with a group of her close friends, spearheaded by straightforward Suwa (Ryusei Ryo), cheerful Azu (Shimizu Kurumi) and Taka (Yamazaki Hirona) and grumpy Hagita (Sakurada Dori) set on a “mission” to save Kakeru in time, and learn a few things in the process, such as the power of “carpe diem” and what that entails.
Orange deals with the theme of regrets and what-ifs, since Naho of the future realizes how a few more words, or reaching out a bit more could have completely changed the direction of someone’s life- Kakeru’s life. It’s not like Naho and her friends didn’t treat Kakeru well; they did treat him very well, actually.
But, Kakeru’s depression (that subject was also handled in a realistic way and Zaki portrayed Kakeru’s agony in a touching manner) is a long fight that needs continuous and honest attention; to make someone realize they’re loved and more importantly, worthy of that love, is an uphill race. And, speaking of race :
“The anchor is Kakeru; so we will pass off the baton to each other, until it reaches him.”
I feel like the quote above (spoken by Taka, about an upcoming school race that serves as a symbolism, loved that whole scene) embodies what the series is about; a group of pals, that nurture back to appreciating life, their new friend who is in a constant battle with his demons.
Between the two ever-changing worlds of the story, there’s an air of melancholy in the future, since in the parallel world X (I’ll name it like this lol) Kakeru is no longer alive and his friends remember him mostly as a time of day; particularly, sunset. But even in that world, Naho makes the decision of writing a letter to her younger self, believing in her heart that Kakeru can be saved and find happiness in a parallel universe.
With her memories serving as the compass of “directions” to her younger self, the story mostly unravels in the parallel world X-2, where the combined efforts of everyone aim to heal Kakeru’s broken heart and spirit.
I already remarked on Zaki bringing his A+ acting game and I believe it’s the same about everyone else’s performance; recalling the manga (totally rec-ing it, obviously!) I feel like everyone captured their characters’ essence in most respects, and generally speaking, the adaptation was largely successful, according to my standards. The cinematography was top-notch, the scenery was fascinating to watch and the score was simple and never exaggerated.
If I am to look at it objectively (…which is a loose definition lol, I mean there’s no such thing as “objectively” when there’s “I” involved but w/e) I guess Orange is not a movie that will change your life or will make you think hard; it is however, one, that will leave you with a feeling of amicable warmth- just like, the color orange that shines that serene coziness, before the sun sets.
I give it a solid 8.5 – yes, it might be just another one of those stories where you wash away the regrets and overcome the obstacles with “a little help from your friends”, but..don’t we all need and love those kind of stories? I know, I certainly do. Well, that is, if the execution is done well, and in Orange’s case, despite a few flaws here and there, it was quite sound. Yep, it definitely was!
Again, if you liked the movie, do find some time to read the manga, it will be worth it! : )
disclaimer – this post was written by kipzizz for dramajjang + huge thanks to furritsubs (link in the footer sidebar)