Monday, 25 January 2010

Ping Pong - DVD - 25/1/10

This 2002 film from Japan tells the tale of Peko and Smile (who never does), two childhood friends who are big players in the competitive world of high school ping pong. Like lots of sports movies this is a film about the people who compete as much, if not more, than it is about the sport and director Fumihiko Sori manages to create real interest in both characters as well as giving us "Matrix" style ping pong matches.

The source material for this is a manga comic and Sori stays faithful to the style of that with shots that wouldn't look out of place on the pages of a comic while, at the same time, he draws convincing and human performances from the key players. While the ping pong is shot in a very stylish way with superb editing giving a sense of the speed of the sport it is in the gentler and more human moments that this film really shines. The relationship between Peko and Smile is convincing and heart warming...portraying the sort of friendship that many of us would love to have exerienced; loyal, caring and forgiving.

It's a funny film too but in a very Japanese way. Those unfamiliar with Japanese cinema may see this as being a tad twee or cutesy but that is deliberate and the film is also utterly free from cynicism which is refreshing even now eight years on from its release. Sori recently brought us his updated version of the blind swordsman tale with "Ichi" as a female Zatoichi but it will be this tale of friendship and loyalty that will, I think, be what he is best, and most fondly, remembered for.

1 comment:

  1. I believe one must be extreme with their own passion. Should develop and enjoy what they do.Table tennis, also known as ping-pong, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight, hollow ball back and forth using table tennis rackets. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net.I have lots of sacrifice just to improve my health,practice, watch table tennis dvds for proper instruction, and determination.