Cast: Mugi Kadowaki, Nana Komatsu, Ryo Narita
Official Selection, 2019 Tokyo International Film Festival
The duo at the heart of indie rock band HaruReo have run out of words to say to each other. After years building a cult audience, they’ve sown resentment, entangled in a bubbling love triangle with their manager, and perhaps just run out of gas. On a whim, they decide that their final seven-city tour will be their last. But Haru and Reo have a chemical bond impossible to quit. When they’re onstage, it’s harmonic magic. When they’re off, they’re tied by an invisible thread that’s something approaching love. Theirs is the kind of relationship that annually celebrates the first conversation they ever had with each other: “Wanna play music with me?” Haru had asked. It’s the question that, even when they’re no longer talking, they’ll spend the rest of the movie nodding “yes” to.
Their bouncy, catchy songs, written by real-life music stars Motohiro Hata and Aimyon, are the backbone to Akihiko Shiota’s youth romance as it sways through flashbacks and HaruReo’s final tour, each spin of the songs taking on new textures as we learn more about the duo’s years together and what this last run might mean for them. As they sing, it becomes clear why they have not publicly announced that this is their last tour, or why they maintain the pact with their manager to keep relationships platonic. Some bonds are too precious to give up on.
Sniffing the rarefied air of Japanese rock masterpiece Linda Linda Linda, FAREWELL SONG is a sing-along drama that knows the emotional weight of that final curtain, not just for the characters but for the swaying audience too, nodding yes to songs that ought to last forever.
Co-Presented by UCSD Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance, UCSD Queer Trans People of Color