Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Confessions

I have a confession to make. I saw the film version years ahead before reading the book. Though I remember liking the film, I knew I had to read the book because I thought I have missed some of the important details.

confessions

Ghost Singer 

Behind stage curtains, 
she performed arias of spring. 
Her sterling voice echoed 
through the dense auditorium. 

Now, behind steel curtains, 
she renders a shrill  twittering. 
Fortissimo of pathos 
melodies resonates
through the asylum. 

 /totomai

As soon as I started reading, the scenes from the movie kept on playing in my mind. I am not sure if it was a good thing or not but at times it felt good, as if I was about to confirm something. For the synopsis, you can click here.

"Her pupils killed her daughter. Now, she will have her revenge."

The first chapter set the tone. I thought this was the strongest part of the book. The way the teacher dropped the "bomb" in front of the class was pure evil, a complete mindf*ck.

The other chapters were a way of re-telling what had happened that day as well as before and after the incident. While the succeeding chapters could be repetitive, a confession of sort from various characters, there was always a twist or two or new details that came up. Most of them were unexpected and gave a thrill to this reader to continue reading.

I also enjoyed the chapter as told by by Student B's sister. It was the juiciest considering she was not a main character.

Just like in the movie, I thought the last chapter is the weakest in terms of the story line or impact. It should be the stand-out as it was Student A's. Though the teacher's way of revenge is still heartless, it could have been executed differently. I still understand why she did that but it was over the top given the limited time. Or maybe it was just another mind game, I’d like to think of. I felt it was a bit of a disconnect.

Kanae Minato fully used the elegant style of Japanese writing, subtle and poetic. The book was beautifully written though I feel that some of it were lost in translation. I don’t speak Japanese but some of its words and expressions are difficult to translate. The way it was written and the voice of each narrator were so fragile despite of its dark theme. This was the charm of the novel making it an easy read despite its twists and turns.

I guess I have to watch the movie again now that I have read the book. Here's the trailer of the movie.


Ending my review with a quote from the book.
Happiness is as fragile and fleeting as a bubble soap. Water down the last dregs of happiness and turn them into bubbles to fill the void. It may nothing more than an illusion, but it was still better than the emptiness.
/totomai
2015/08/26

52 comments:

  1. You really do tempt this viewer to find the book to read it.

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    1. Please read it, Robin then tell me what you think :)

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  2. nice poem, the film seems very intense, from what i gather in your poem

    have a good Sunday

    much love...

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    1. it is Gillena, have a great week ahead :)

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  3. You made me want to read the book, though the border between creativeness and madness can be slim. I'm reminded by the film Frances, that affected me a lot.

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    1. Or you can watch the film, Bjorn. It's mindblowing at least for me

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  4. What a chilling and powerful piece I have not seen the film or read the book but you have me hooked!

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    1. Thanks Jae - grab a copy of it if you can :)

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  5. Your poem is chilling, Totomai! I think I would enjoy seeing the movie. I have never managed to write a poem based on a movie or book. You inspire me!

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    1. Don't worry Mary - the poem didn't spoil the story. Same theme though

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  6. Looks like a dark yet thrilling story ~ If I like the movie, I want to read the book too ~ Will check it out, thanks ~

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    1. Sure Grace - it was Japan's entry to Oscar's

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  7. I think its great to be inspired by a film which is an adaptation of the book. Well penned :D

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  8. Haven't seen the movie or read the book but your poem is quite evocative. Nicely done.

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  9. What a fantastic poem! and a really excellent book review. Poor woman, singing now in the asylum.

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    1. You'll be surprise in the outcome of the book, Sherry :)

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  10. Watching the trailer, I couldn't imagine how the effects could be described in words! The poem detaches itself, showing one free and then imprisoned--or a voice that has slid behind the dangers of a totalitarian regime. Pretty amazing and tanka like.

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    1. That was my reaction when I first saw the trailer, Susan. Then i decided to buy the book.

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  11. Ok so Im off to find the book that you dangle.
    Have a great week

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  12. Great! I met her in your words.
    ZQ

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  13. from what your poem implies, the movie is a psychological thriller. wonderful that it comes with English subtitles.

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  14. I agree your poem is fantastic as is your review of the book...the trailer had me wanting to see this movie and you convinced me to read the book.

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    1. Please do Donna and tell me how was it

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  15. I have not heard of the movie or the book, but I think I may have to venture further into this. I usually like to read the book first. Then again the movie might be a disappointment after reading the book as the book to me is always so much better. I guess there are more details and you can get into the head of the characters. Which do you recommend the book or movie first?

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    1. Movie first then book then rewatch. I'm planning to watch it again

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  16. I put the title on my list of must read, and the one of movies to see. Thank you,

    Elizabeth

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  17. What a challenging role this teacher/woman/single playing despite on the tragedy befell her..

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    1. And most of the times, she's poker-faced lol

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  18. a powerful write with great impact....

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  19. Great poem the image of singing behind bars is a strong one.

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    1. She deserved it I guess. Or not at all

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  20. I would rather watch the movie for the dramatics in front of our eyes than the book where the dramatics were just imaginations. Great review totomai!

    Hank

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    1. Both will be great, Hank. Use the power of imagination

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  21. Nice turn in your words, from singing beautiful arias on stage,
    to what comes behind the cage. What an interesting review. You were very honest
    pointing out the good and bad, which makes for a great review in my opinion.

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    1. Reviews won't be effective if only the good stuff will be mentioned

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  22. I'm tempted to read the book. Your poem is eloquent ... the juxtaposition of the second stanza against the first: hauntingly rendered.

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  23. I know nothing of the book or film. But your words are chilling! Very nicely written, totomai!

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  24. Your poem was chilling ~ I didn't expect the ending!

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  25. Like the two sides of the same coin...

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any thoughts to distill?

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