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Fuwa Fuwa Goodness: Air Doll

The dream-like fluffiness that one might absorb from listening to songs, watching anime or movies, is never quite self-sufficient. Yet the inadequacy mustn't be misunderstood as a sign of greed. In a therapeutic sense, all that fluffiness kicks in to create some form of serotonin which would in turn negate any nasty feelings or thoughts. While that isn't representative of every person out there, based on personal experience I dare say that the experience takes effect and it belongs to a niche cluster of people that thrives under unorthodox methods of leisure. Anyway, the bottom line is to feel good at the end.

I'm not much of a fan of Bae Doona, even though I've seen a couple of her movies. Interestingly, both movies are in Japanese which might have been the trigger of my initial curiosity. While more Korean personalities are crossing over to Japanese shores, I believe that only a handful actually speaks the language. Nonetheless, there's still a certain charisma to that unique infusion on film. Today, I'm going to write about a movie that's bound to elicit dream-like fluffiness. Yes, Bae Doona had a pivotal role in it. The movie is titled 'Kuki Ningyo', or Air Doll in English.  

The idea of realising that a supposedly inanimate doll could come alive forms a solid foundation for all that 'fuwa fuwa' goodness to sink in. It was a brilliant choice on the director Kore-eda Hirokazu's part to let Bae Doona immerse in an array of unrestrained moments. Her gentle, curious feel of the rain droplets falling from the laundry pole the first time the doll came to life, the subtle blowing of air in the background as the soundtrack played, the child-like awe in her eyes as she tried on outfits (before deciding on the maid costume), the resemblance of a baby's first steps as she carefully treaded along the sidewalk with an umbrella in tow, the soft hues...I could go on and on. Each scene had felt like a mini fairy tale. As a viewer, there were times when I felt as if I had levitated and walked on a pavement of clouds. That aside, I've got to say that Air Doll runs for 125 minutes. The slower storytelling might not be everyone's cup of tea though, with some critics wishing that the length could be considerably shorter. Frankly, I think that the only way to get the best out of the movie experience would be to see it as a bottle of wine that ages well with time instead of the usual mainstream fare that many are too accustomed to. I believe that the movie's intention is not to rush people into digesting the primary events, but to invite them to fully appreciate the intricacies slowly and gradually.

Even though the 'fuwa fuwa' goodness in Air Doll is uplifting, unfortunately the movie doesn't end happily. Without giving too much away, I will say that at the end of the day, humanity is forced to confront the harsh reality of life. When life is all lemons, how many of us would actually make lemonade? The idealism inside people's hearts can be overpowering most of the time. Many yearn to live out their dreams, yet due to different reasons and such, they remain struggling at the edges. In any case, the desire to escape albeit temporarily shouldn't be viewed as an excuse. Sometimes, escape becomes the only hope to keep our sanity in check. The doll didn't understand why her master would abandon her for another. In the first place, what made him buy her? Was it an issue of solitude that he had little control over, and as an attempt to even out the instability he turned to the doll for (sexual) solace? Since the doll was supposedly inanimate, there was no real 'responsibility' to speak of. One could just wish that for once things would turn out the way that was intended.

That aside, I still see Air Doll as glimpses of scattered hope. To some extent, we might lose ourselves in the midst of our pursuits of idealism. However, I would like to believe that there is always an exit at the end of the tunnel which would bring me forward to what I had originally intended. The 'fuwa fuwa' goodness continues to linger even after the movie had ended.

Have you watched Air Doll? Do you have your favourite 'fuwa fuwa' moments?

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep

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