Let Me Eat Your Pancreas (LMEYP) is a Japanese live-action film that is based on a light novel of the same name by Yoru Sumino. It is directed by Sho Tsukikawa and features some famous actors such as Takumi Kitamura, Shun Oguri, Keiko Kitagawa and Minami Hamabe. With such A-listed cast in the work, can this movie bring out the true essence of the popular light novel? Read on to find out!
A young teenage boy accidentally found a diary of another popular female student in his class. With this discovery, he realises that the girl is suffering from a pancreatic disease and is going to die in a year. The girl herself becomes close to him, but would their relations become a problem? Or would the boy able to fulfill the wishes of the dying girl successfully?
First of all, I come to watch the movie with the expectation that it would be cliche. To my surprise, the story is actually pretty straightforward, and the director already knows this. It feels weird when we already know that girl is going to die without much twists and turns that are typical in movies of such genre. I love the way the story is handled and paced, which is mellow yet without wasting any time getting the flow. There is always something happening that moves the narrative, without it feeling draggy. We are introduced to the characters and then we watch their awkward relationship blossoms as the movie goes on.
The characters are also great and well-acted by the casts. This is especially so for the girl, where Minami actually manages to portray her character as a typical yet relatable cute Japanese girl who tries to contain her grief through smiles and fun. Her character is in contrast to the guy, but together, they form a lovely couple that just seems to fit. I can’t explain why, but the girl possesses a great balance of fun, cute and yet truly believable personality that is uncommon in many Japanese females characters.
Each of the scenes is shot in a very modern sepia-looking that is soft on the eyes, as if they are filled with light tears, and that the story is based in the past that connects to the present, hence ‘modern sepia’. There are also some subtle parts that are hidden in their words/conversations, a love that is not mentioned but felt. It is an unexpectedly touching film that is so simple yet deep, so subtle yet direct in its presentation. Lastly, the music is kept simple, but pretty impactful when played in the crucial scenes. I almost let a tear fell while watching this 2-hour movie, where time flies by so fast without me noticing. As a side note, the title of the film also indirectly refers to the confirmation of both characters’ feelings for each other :’)