Exploring the taste of Asian drama movies

Amid the surge of Hollywood dramas, films coming from the Asian region can often tend to be overlooked but despite that, movie makers from the region continue to thrive and produce binge-worthy movies.

Here is a list of film dramas from some countries ANTARA has curated for you to explore:

1. Letters from Prague (Indonesia)

The 2016 Indonesian movie ‘Surat dari Praha’ (Letters from Prague), depicts the story of a young woman named Larasati, portrayed by Julie Estelle, and her journey to carry on her late mothers’ dying wish to have a box of letters from her past, delivered to a man living in the city of Prague. Her endeavor takes her to uncover the remnants of Indonesia’s political turmoil in 1965, as she is met with Jaya, portrayed by seasoned actor Tio Pakusadewo, who is a political exile living out his days in Prague, along with other Indonesians who have lost their nationalities, as they are unable to return to Indonesia.

Directed by Indonesia’s own Angga Dwimas Sasongko, the movie aims to introduce the life of an Indonesian student who is sent overseas to pursue his studies by the government at the time, under the ruling of President Soekarno. They are stripped of their nationality as they have refused to sign a letter, declaring their allegiance to the administration that came after, known as the New Order.

Falling under the genres of drama and romance, the movie brings a story that goes beyond romantic tales between characters. It aims to banish the stigma that sticks with political exiles.

The movie features the works of Indonesian singer-songwriter Glenn Fredly that adds to the somber atmosphere of the storyline. The movie can be accessed through movie streaming services, including Netflix.

2. Norwegian Wood (Japan)

Norwegian Wood, the 2012 Japanese movie, is an adaptation of an international best-seller novel of the same title by celebrated author Haruki Murakami. It tells the story of a young man named Toru Watanabe (Kenichi Matsuyama), set in the 1960s, during a tumultuous time in his life after losing his best friend Kizuki to suicide.

Following the tragedy, Watanabe grows closer to his late best friends’ girlfriend, Naoko (Rinko Kikuchi), over the mutual loss and despair, eventually developing romantic relations with her. Trauma, shadows of death and grief, erotic love and sexual freedom comes over the two as they bind over the loss of Kizuki.

Amid the grief and navigating through devastation with a blooming romance, there are his days as a college student which once again brings him to the confusion, as his path cross with that of Midori Kobayashi (Kiko Mizuhara) who is a young, vivacious, and attractive woman, and one who possesses all the characters Naoko seemingly does not.

The tension of being tied to the past and hopes of happiness with Naoko and the clash with an optimistic future with Midori brings waves of confusion and confronts Watanabe with difficult decisions.

Directed by Tran Anh Hung, the movie took four years to receive the green light from Murakami himself, provided that the author got to first read the script and was informed of the budget of the movie.

The storyline carries more than how young people indulge in love, grief, and sexual freedom, as it portrayed the scene of mental health, especially among youth, in the face of depression and suicide.

3. Descendants of the Sun (South Korea)

Not a box office movie, Descendants of the Sun is a series consisting of 16 episodes worth binging during downtime, as it gained massive popularity across Asia. The story revolves Yoo Si-jin (Song Joong-ki) who is a captain in the South Korean Army Special Forces, leading a special team named Team Alpha. His path crosses with a doctor named Kang Mo-yeon (Song Hye-kyo) as he seeks treatment after suffering from an injury suffered in a motorcycle accident.

The series captures the romantic journey between the two, among their vastly different professions.

It has received varied responses from around the world, as it touches on the details of the line of work of military members. Some even deem the movie controversial and dangerous. It is worth watching to decide for oneself whether the series is worth its praises and critiques.

4. One Day (Thailand)

Released in 2016 and directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun, One Day tells a story of a woman who suffers from a temporary form of amnesia that only lasts for a day. A shy male colleague, who is secretly in love with her, proceeds to tell her that they were a couple, to experience being her love interest for the day.

Denchai, played by Chantavit “Ter” Dhanasevi falls in love with his co-worker, Nui, played by Nittha “Mew” Jirayungyum, who is a new employee in the marketing division. The differences in the way they dress seem to emphasize the unlikely chance of them getting together, especially considering the time when the two can get together is when Nui needs assistance with her computer problems. Nui’s forbidden love affair with her married boss seem to shrink Denchai’s next to nothing chances as well.

When the two, along with their co-workers, go on a company trip to Japan, Nui suffers an injury from an accident that causes her to lose her memory in a day.

The unfortunate accident offers an unlikely opportunity to Denchai to experience moments with the women he has feelings for. The lighthearted movie received a 4/5-star rating on IMDb.

4. Dangal (India)

The movie, produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Aamir Khan Productions, is based on the true story of Mahavir Singh Phogat, a senior wrestler in India who had successfully trained his daughters, Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari, to become world-class wrestlers, leading them to win medals in the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The role of Mahavir Singh Phogat is portrayed by Aamir Khan, while Geeta Phogat is portrayed by Fatima Sana Shaikh, and Babita Kumari is portrayed by Sanya Malhotra.

Mahavir’s dream of having a wrestler son vanishes as his wife Daya Kaur gives him two daughters after their marriage. However, it does not stop him from training his daughters to become tough wrestlers and navigate through the misconception that women cannot excel in the world of wrestling.

Source: ANTARA News

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