The annoying books


One of the things that made me feel annoyed when watching The diary of fireflies is… books. It’s just small detail but when I watched this movie, it made me laugh (of course, I just laughed in mind) or feel weird, or distract me from the film.

The first time is when Rin first talked with Kai at the library. At that time, there was a close-up shot to show the audience the books that Kai was reading. I looked at the words from a book and found out that it was from Chicken soup for the soul. Oh my God, I laughed in my mind and tried to prevent myself from laughing out loud. I found it was weird when medical student suffering from losing dear parents could read that book. I admit that I had read Chicken soup for the soul. I read this kind of books when I was a junior high school and high school student, when I was so lonely and didn’t understand why there was no one wanted to be my friend, why I had to suffer like this. But I didn’t read much. Eventhough at that age, I just read two or three books and easily get bored, then gave up. The first time I read that kind of book, it indeed made me hope that everything would be alright. But soon, I found out that there would be nothing alright. After warmful stories, beautiful words, good persons, there would be nothing alright. It made me feel emptier. I remember that I changed to read The Collection of Shakespeare – the really big book that I borrowed from my school’s library, and eventhough Shakespeare wrote so many painful stories, reading King Lear or Macbeth, Othello did make me really feel better than Chicken soup for the soul. When I was at university, I never never never read this kind of book again. I have talked with a few friends who overcame from pains, dark pasts, deep hurts, there was no one like this kind of book; especially, when they were university student with full awareness. Therefore, someone like Kai read that book really made me feel weird, unbelievable.


The second time is when Kai visited his old friend. That friend was maybe around 50 years old. He was cancer patient. He was introduced as an intellectual with many knowledges. But when I looked at his bookshelf, I felt weird. All the books in the bookshelf nearly had the same size, same thickness. If just taking a glance at it, maybe it looks impressive and can make someone think that he read so much. But I feel it’s unnatural, organized. In fact, there is no bookshelf like that. There are small books, big books, average books… People often read all of them without minding about its length. The length of books in a bookshelf is usually different. Furthermore, if looking at the back of the books in this man’s bookshelf, we will see the main color is purple. The books with purple backs are more than anyother colors. This thing combined with the same size, same thickness books made books look so fake. I thought they were fake books. Then there was a closer shot to see the books more clearly, eventhough it was just a few seconds, I could see faintly some book covers looked like Harry Porter or some fantasy books. Well, this scene didn’t make me laugh but I felt so annoyed.

I wanted to write this thing right after watching this film two weeks ago but I was afraid of writing that. I felt that I was so mean when I noticed detail like that. Somehow, I also feel I’m crazy. These days, I often easily get annoyed feeling. Then, I remember Detective Conan. When I read Conan, I admired the carefulness of Aoyama Gosho. When he drew the magazine on the table at Mori’s office, he even drew the covers and the title of the magazine (some mangakas don’t do this thing), I could see the magazines Mori often read were about gravure idols, hot girls… When he drew the bookshelf at Shinichi’s house, I could see Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie… At first time, I didn’t notice it. Then, accidentally I found out this thing. After that, when there was a bookshelf or books appearing in the manga, I would always notice how detail he drew it and I was never disappointed at him about this thing (later years, I was just disappointed at the story, at the way he tried to extend this manga).

The photo is just for illustration. In film, he didn’t read Thích Nhất Hạnh’s book.

After two weeks, I’m not afraid of writing this thing anymore. I want to write it to remind myself once again to be always careful of small details of characters, to actually take care of them just like a real person. A book can talk a lot about the person reading it. Therefore, I think it’s important eventhough there will be not so many audiences noticing about it but the screenwriter should take care of it. I hope that I will always can keep the carefulness when writing.

The diary of fireflies is neither good nor bad. It’s just normal, leaves me no special feeling except for the beauty of Jun Vũ. I’m not shy to admit that I watched it only just because of her. I noticed her since 12 zodiacs but I was still surprised at her in The diary of fireflies. How beautiful she was in there. Well, just simple like that. I rated this film 5/10 right after watching it, but then, I thought again of Jun Vũ, and I increased it from 5 to 6. The one plus is for her.



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