Rough (Japanese) – Movie Review

Hey guys! It’s been a month since I last posted a movie review here. I’m really sorry. Hope you can forgive me. So I watched Rough (Japanese movie) recently and I’m going to give you my review. The movie is based on the 1980s manga by Mitsuru Adachi and adapted to the big screen by NANA director, Kentaro Otani.

Rough may sound like an odd name for a film focusing on the budding romance between a swimmer and a high diver, but this seemingly peculiar title choice does come to make more sense as the story unfolds, most significantly when a supporting character announces, “All great art begins with a rough sketch.” Although this metaphor is meant to describe the various athletes staying together at a coed dormitory for the summer, it comes to have greater meaning for the film’s two lead characters, swimmer Keisuke Yamato (Hayami Mokomichi) and high diver, Ami Ninomiya (Masami Nagasawa). The lanky, handsome, but comically awkward Yamato has great talent, but it still a bit rough around the edges when it comes to actual technique or effort. Ami’s “roughness” is a bit harder to define, as it is much more internal – something that cannot be solved by cutting to a rousing training montage. (Calvin McMillin)

Rough showcases a coming of age romance that begins strongly enough; the film is full of visual gags, captioned freeze frames, and inventive usage of flashbacks. Having a shaky start like Ami calling Yamato a murderer, Yamato as well as the viewers were taken aback by how straightforward Ami was. As it turns out, the two have a history (one that I won’t spoil here) that accounts for Ami’s seeming hatred for Yamato. I’m kind of puzzled why the title of the movie is Rough when in fact they could’ve used another title for the film. But after hearing a supporting character say “All great art begins with a rough sketch.” That’s when I realized that the creator of the manga might have a reason as to why he chose Rough as the title for his work.

Two characters who seem to get the short exposure are Hiroki Nakanishi (Tsuyoshi Abe) and Kaori Koyonagi (Yui Ichikawa).I think the performances of the actors as well as the film’s strong first half make it worth recommending. Also, there’s a nice little revelation that occurs in the film’s second half that might enhance one’s enjoyment of Rough’s already amusing first half. I admit that I hope they could’ve thought of a better ending for the movie but I think it’s up to us to interpret it. I’ll give this movie a rating of 7 out of 10.