It was a totally random decision to watch the Japanese movie "Linda Linda Linda". I found out about it after watching "The Host", due to Bae Doona's presence in both films. Anyway, watching this obscure little movie was a decision I don't regret!
"Linda Linda Linda" follows a group of three girls that are putting together a band for their school festival after a couple of their members drop out. The remaining three girls (one cute, one bratty/popular, one kind of awkward) enlist the help of a Korean foreign-exchange student, Son (played by Bae Doona) to sing vocals, even though she barely speaks Japanese...and...there you have it! The title comes from one of the songs that the group covers in the movie, "Linda Linda" by The Blue Hearts (a Japanese pop band that influenced big groups, like the Ramones).
Obviously the premise of the film is extremely limited and...not a lot happens. However, "Linda" is irresistibly charming throughout. It's such a high-school girl movie, with lots of meager drama going on, and crushes!!! and stuff, but like, it's still entertaining and thankfully avoids crossing the teen drama line between "hehehehe" and "vomit".
Also, Bae Doona brings an absolutely fantastic performance to the film. She's a bit shy and confused at first, but then she opens up, showing her love for her newfound friends despite the language barrier. She's also wonderfully funny at times (that karaoke scene is great) and you just can't help but love her. Oh, and the movie has a fantastic concert scene to end it all, and how can you resist that?
Nevertheless, the movie could have definitely used some more editing. There are scenes that just go on for TOO long, it got ridiculous. And really, with such a simple premise, there's only so much you can do - this nearly two hour film could have easily been forty minutes shorter and we wouldn't have missed anything. Oh, and I got annoyed by the director's use of faraway shots when characters were interacting...I don't know why, I just wanted to see their faces more or something.
Anyway, "Linda Linda Linda" is a really cute and fun little rock film that shows the true power of friendship and all that jazz. An enjoyable watch for sure, with a great performance from Bae Doona and awesome music to boot.