There are few films that can capture the subtle humor and happiness brought by friendship, or the inspirational change that comes with simply growing up – Linda Linda Linda is one of those films.
Set in the days before a high school festival in a town outside Tokyo, three young female band members are in need of a new singer; they find an unlikely candidate in Son (played by Doona Bae, star in the more recent Korean film ‘The Host‘), a Korean foreign-exchange student who still struggles with her Japanese. The film follows the four as they attempt to master several songs written “The Blue Hearts,” an 80s Japanese punk-rock band, to play at the final performance of the festival.
I saw the movie just today – the only film I was able to see at this year’s Wisconsin Film Festival – and if I could only see one flick again, I’d choose ‘Linda Linda Linda’ in a heartbeat.
The wonder of the film is in its simplicity: the expressions are real, the characters are quirky (but not over-exagerrated), and the cinematography gently pulls out the everyday beauty that our eyes often pass over. The director pays careful attention to the nuances and humour of awkward teenage moments, and the joy of pursuing new experiences.
Beyond that, the music is absolutely honey-sticky in your head, and the entire piece touches a soft, nostalgic place for anyone who has ever wanted to be a momentary star, rocking out in front of the entire school.
[Listen to Paran Maum’s cover of ‘Linda Linda Linda.’]