Thursday, October 22, 2009
Honoka'a Boy, the Movie
We're going to see the movie, Honoka'a Boy today at the Hawaii Film Festival. We've actually already seen the video because our wonderful Tokyo friend mailed it to us knowing we were waiting to see it. Would you believe the day before the DVD arrived, we bought non refundable tickets on line to see the movie at the (HFF) Hawaii Film Festival?
My mother had already read and translated the Japanese language book for us chapter by chapter. She told us how the book emphasized the beauty and loving community of Honoka'a, Art's hometown.
The two central characters (based on real life experiences) are Leo, a Japanese student who goes to Honoka'a to recover from a bruised heart and Bea (a kind, older lady) who takes pity on him. The whole book focuses on the beauty of this small country town and is a journal of the epicurean delights Bea prepared for him.
Art and I couldn't wait to watch the film in the theater. We plunked ourselves down and watched the DVD figuring if we read the subtitles ahead of time we could just enjoy the beauty of the movie at the large screen theater.
What a surprise! A shock?
The movie moves very slowly. Perhaps the director wanted to show the slow moving pace of a Hawaiian country town. They infer that Honoka'a is known for moonbows. Hunh? Since when? An amazing array of characters speak fluent Japanese. OK... this is a Japanese movie, I understand that. But puhleeease.
But the worst insult for us is the way Bea is portrayed. They incorrectly spelled her name Bee in the subtitles. Bea is the mother of Art's childhood classmate and good friend. We felt she was pictured as a rather foolish, eccentric lady attracted to this young student. We sat through the movie upset at what the director had done and what Leo (the author) had allowed. Bea had been kind and generous to him during his stay in Honoka'a and this is how she has been repaid.
A few other people have seen the movie and felt it was touching and beautiful. Perhaps the problem in all this is that Art knew the real Bea and is extra sensitive to her legacy. Perhaps I am just reacting to his feeling of dismay. I don't know. I'll be interested to hear what my mother thinks when we take her to see the movie today.