Shall We Dance? (Japanese Version)

3 11 2010

Shohei Sugiyama, is a bored and restless accountant in Japan who decides to take ballroom dancing lessons in order to add enjoyment and excitement into his life. The plot for this film was very similar to the english version which was made after this film was made but there were a few differences between he films. Similarly in the Japanese version, Sugiyama takes the dance lessons and becomes enthralled by the fire that dance brings out inside him, also he sparks a friendship with many of the other people who are dancing in his class, such as a coworker (who secretly dances) as well as the woman who inspires him to start dancing, Mai, who he becomes infatuated with when he sees her standing in the window of the dance studio.  He learns later in the film that his dancing skills and how the dancing makes him feel actually outweighs his feelings for Mai, and he discovers his true passion for the dance. His wife does not know he is dancing and finds his behavior very strange and hires someone to figure out why he is acting so differently. ONce she discovers it is just dancing she attends an amateur dance competition that he has entered (he does not know she or his daughter are there ), and when he missteps and trips during the routine, he discovers them there in the audience. It seemed the main difference with this film rather than the english version for me was the strictness and sheer distance between the dancers. It seems that within this culture the expression of dance or closeness can be seen as embarrassing or not culturally acceptable so even most of the dances were less passionate or emotionally driven then in the english version. I did not enjoy this movie much, but it was interesting to see the differences in the versions based on cultural norms and values (the United states vs. Japan). In the end Mai, explains to Sugiyama that it was his passion that reignited her passion in pursuing her career in dance and that she is forever grateful for that!




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