April Bride Movie Recap

A heartwarming story about unconditional love, fruitful life and hope that endures. The movie itself reminds us to appreciate every moment of our lives.

Truth be told, I already saw tons of movies in this genre, but April Bride sure is one of the most straightforward and honest films out there. The pain and despair were so real that it brings out the purest and sincerest of feelings. The dialogue was superb. The words were powerful.

Note: The movie is based on the true story.

Movie Recap

The tomorrow that comes to us is a miracle. Simply knowing that fills every day with joy~ Chie Nagashima

Our couple, Chie Nagashima (Nana Eikura) and Taro Akasu (Eita), met in the most unconventional way. It began with a misunderstanding and ended with a love that tried to defy death.

They started to date and it didn’t took long before they were officially hitched. Days passed and the couple fell more and more in love.  Taro, however, wants to take their relationship far more seriously. He even suggested to meet Chie’s impossibly stoic dad, Sadashi Nagashima (Akira Emoto), a samisen master. During the visit, Taro learned that Chie’s mother died from cancer.

Looking at Chie and her dad, Taro felt blissful contentment. Right then, he knew that  they can’t just stay like this. There should be more in their relationship. Marriage, perhaps?

But fate had its unexpected twist. Chie is sick. She’s been taking medicines for months and side effects are gradually showing. The dreadful day came and Taro noticed the changes. She can’t hide it anymore. She has cancer. There. Now that he knows, they should break up.

Taro: I won’t leave. I want to be with you.

Chie: It won’t work. You don’t know what cancer is.

Taro: Yes, I do.

Chie: No, you don’t! It’ll get bad.

Chie suddenly disappears. She underwent mastectomy (surgical removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely). The surgery was a success but it left a devastating effect on her. The once confident and bubbly Chie might be slowly fading away.

Seems Taro was serious when he said he won’t leave. He even went to Chie’s dad to ask where she’s gone.

Chie went to a solitary journey. She stayed at Yakushima to have a taste of broken-neck mackerel, the only fish Taro eats. And there the couple meet again.

Taro is determined. They can’t just break-up like this. But Chie won’t take the chances. What’s the use? She’ll just die anyway. She’s not the same woman whom he liked. To prove her point, she shows him the surgical scar.  Taro cries. How could a healthy young woman endure this kind of pain?

Chie: When we were together, I didn’t tell you. I knew I should have but I deceived you.

Taro: Nothing about you has changed. Whether you have breast or not, I want you the way you are.

Chie: That might change.

Taro: I won’t.

They made a promise. No matter what the future brings, they won’t change.

Things are getting better. Chie shows signs of improvement. Her hair is even growing back. But fate ain’t done yet. Her cancer comes back.

Taro relays the situation to his family, but they weren’t as supportive as he expected. It’s useless. At some point, he’ll get tired of holding her up. In the end, the one who’ll be hurt most is Chie. But, Taro won’t be deterred. He’ll be there for Chie. He won’t change. He’ll fulfill his promise.

And since, Chie can’t go home, Taro decides to move in at the hospital with her.

Chie: Taro, I’ll beat this.

Taro: We’ll beat this.

The couple is hopeful. There may be light in the darkness they’re in. There might be miracles. But… they are wrong. The cancer cells had already moved to her bones. Chemotheraphy and radiation didn’t help.  Chie has a month… or less  to live.

Fate couldn’t possibly be this cruel. The world seems to fall apart. Sadashi opts to keep this a secret from Chie. But somehow… Chie knows. Her days are numbered. But she tried to live.

The pain, fear, disappointment… the frustration. It’s unbearable. Death couldn’t come too soon for Chie. She still has so many things to do. They have yet to build a family, to have kids, to grow old and laugh at their memories together. Why Chie?

Taro imagines Chie happily riding her bike. They used to do that. They’ll race down the streets, Chie always on the lead. He can’t help it. The future is dim. Taro breaks down.

The doctor is kind enough to let Chie visit her mom’s grave. And for the longest of time, she finally had the courage to watch her mom’s videos. She was too afraid to watch them when she was young. But now, it ain’t too bad. She even laughs at how “cute” she was back then.

I super love this scene. Simple words but it strikes right through the core.

Chie: Sorry.

Dad: For what?

Chie: Getting cancer.

Dad: Just get better.

It’s Taro’s birthday. But Chie chose to spend the day with her friends. Tehehe. This gives Taro and Sadashi some time alone. And this is when Sadashi cries his heart out.  He is actually grateful that Taro stayed and chose to hold on.

Every passing day, Taro is getting more and more anxious. He fears that Chie won’t wake  up anymore. It’s like everytime she opens her eyes is a miracle.

Chie: It’s amazing to be alive.

One day, Taro is utterly shocked to see media people doing an interview with Chie. Of course, he’s angry. How could Chie do such a thing? People will see that she’s sick.  Haven’t she realized that the world is full of horrible people. They won’t just invade her privacy, they’ll tear her to shreds.

But Chie, thought differently. She wants to create breast cancer awareness for young women. She has been finding ways to help. She may not prevent cancer, but at least, she  could inspire those who suffer from it.

Though not entirely convinced, Taro consents to the documentary, for as long as it only takes 30 minutes of filming per day.

An excerpt of the documentary.

Taro: What do you do all day?

Chie: Live.

A few more days, and Taro finally decided to propose. He wants to put Chie in a wedding dress. And it should be ASAP or else… it may be too late. Together with Chie’s friends, Taro plans a magnificent wedding.

But then, Chie thinks marrying her in this kind of dire situation is not a good idea at all.  She can’t drag him down. She’ll only leave him with bitter memories.

Chie: When I get cured and feel better..we might break up.

Taro: That’s okay.

Chie: That’s not a good idea. Because someday, how is the woman you marry going to feel?

Taro: Chie don’t worry about anyone. Don’t torment yourself. You don’t have to fight anymore.

Despite Chie’s refusal, Taro remain resolute. She will be his wife. And out in the pouring rain, he runs around  looking for a wedding ring. Tomorrow, she will be his bride!

And tomorrow comes. Chie is looking all glamorous in her wedding dress and Taro in his white tuxedo. Oblivious of Taro and her friend’s plans, Chie innocently thought they are just taking some scenes for the documentary. A little later more and Taro confessed that this is indeed their wedding day. Chie can’t help her self. She cries… out of love, out of gratitude.

And on April 5, 2007, Chie  Nagashima became the April bride.

At the young age of 24, Chie died of breast cancer.

On their home, Taro views Chie’s last words.

Taro,  good morning or good evening maybe. If your watching this video, I guess that means I’m long gone by now. It must be a weird feeling.

I’m making this letter video becoz I doubt I have much time left. I made a promise at Yakushima didn’t I? I promised I’d stay who I was no matter what happened. That I wouldn’t change. I think its becoz of that promise that I’ve tried so hard. Did I keep my promise? Did I stay who I was til the very end? Was I a good girl.

For you I have only gratitude. No, gratitude doesn’t express it. How do you describe this feeling? There is no word in Japanese to describe this feeling. I still remember so well the first time that we met. Your boss was shouting at you but you were doing your best. Awkward but trying hard. That was very attractive.

I love you very much. I wanted to cook for you again. I wanted to talk with you again a lot more. With you, we’d have made a great family. I’m happy I found you. From the sky I’ll watch over you all your happy life until you’re a happy old man.

Goodbye.

Posted on April 26, 2011, in Japanese Drama/ Movies and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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