Clover Movie Recap

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Somehow I find this movie lacking in premise. The acting was okay but there were important points obviously missing in the story line. For instance, the movie wasn’t keen on emphasizing as to why and when Tsuge actually fell for Saya or if Hino hasn’t really forgotten about her. If I were to suggest, the movie should have lingered on these thoughts.  Anyways, over-all, it’s okay.

PS: This is a baby recap.

Movie Recap

Three best friends, Saya (Emi Takei) , Kazuyo (Haruka Kinami) and Sakurako (Yasuko Mitsura) are making the most of their day-off and decide to consult a fortune-teller about their love life.  The fortune-teller foretells that Saya’s destined someone will be the best and worst person in her life. Though confused, Saya remains passive because she’s resolved to pass on love for the time being. Kazuyo notices her pessimism towards love in general and wonders if she has someone she can’t forget. With the thought,  Saya remains silent.

They pass by an electronic billboard and watch an ad of Hino Haruki‘s (Kento Nagayama) new show. Saya then remembers a memory of her and Hino looking for 4-leaf clovers. Policemen came to take Hino away but before he left, he promised to return. Guess her friend is right after all.

Saya works at the event planning department of Toyo Hotel. She’s under the strict supervision of a poker-faced, fussy, insensitive and sadistic Tsuge (Tadayoshi Okura). Co-workers admire him for being cool and handsome, but Saya knows better. All she remembers is his countless lectures which often ends with his favorite line, “Are you stupid?”.

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At a major event, Saya forgets to confirm a dietary restriction of one high profile customer. With this slip-up, she gets another telling off from Tsuge. He even compares her brain capacity to that of a dog. Good thing, Saya solves the problem before it gets out of hand. Knowing she did well, she smiles smugly at him. But her little accomplishment isn’t enough to please her Spartan boss. He then tells her to meet with him because he has something important to say.

Thinking he’ll just continue his lectures of the recent mishap, Saya tells him to tone down his scolding since she has a brain capacity of a dog. Notice the sarcasm. She’s caught in a surprise when he asks her on a date instead. She thinks it’s a joke but his humorless attitude proves otherwise. She’s rather puzzled on the major turn of events and frankly asks if he likes her at all. He answers a deadpan no. Actually, he has plans of going abroad and he sees her as someone who knows how to adapt. If they go out and find any compatibility, they might hit it off. Saya doesn’t give him an answer and she has no plans to.

The reason why she can’t go out with him is clear. She already fell in love with someone and she’s waiting for that someone’s return. Her wake up call comes unexpectedly when she sees that someone inside a girl’s hotel suit wearing only a robe. The saddest thing is, he never bothered to explain.

Ironically, Saya finds comfort in the presence of her boss. Saya narrates her tragic love story. She and Hino were childhood sweethearts. When Hino’s Dad was to be transferred to the US, they decided to elope but the adults caught up to them. They were young but they were serious. Hino promised to come back for her. Thinking about it now, she realizes her own stupidity. She passed on every chance of having a relationship for 8 years just because she believed in him. But of course, her boss wouldn’t understand. He’s popular and could date anyone. So Tsuge suggests that for the time being, they try to date. She agrees. But then the next morning, Tsuge is back to his normal mean self.

As fate dictates, Hino is one of the guests for the hotel’s upcoming Valentine campaign. Preparation for the event is going well until a misunderstanding with the schedule of the other guest actress brews. Saya takes responsibility for the mistake. She tries her hardest to convince the actress’ manager but he won’t budge. But with some sort of miracle, the manager readily cooperates.

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The Valentine’s Day campaign is a success. For old time’s sake, Saya writes Hino a congratulatory note but he comes in before she had the chance to leave. He teases her for being a snob. She’s surprise to know that he recognized her the other day. In fact, he did. Casually, she asks if he’s serious with the actress. Hino casually tells her that the actress is not even his girlfriend. In return, he asks her if she has a boyfriend. And she answers she does. She points Tsuge and comically, Manager Matsushita passes by just in time. So she waves Manager Matsushita an awkward goodbye and calls Tsuge but he ignores her. Hino laughs at her boyfriend’s behavior. Before he goes, he tells Saya to stop acting like a stranger since they are friends after all.

Saya personally thanks the actress’ manager for the successful campaign. She overhears then that the reason why the Manager agreed is because Tsuge blackmailed him. Tsuge asked his pretty and smart ex-girlfriend for help and she gladly supplies him the information. Saya gets jealous of the pretty and smart ex-girlfriend and looses heaps of confidence. She keeps on nagging and nagging Tsuge about it. But he isn’t even listening.

Even at the company outing, Saya isn’t giving Tsuge a break. Finally, he had enough and drags her to a vacant room. He asks what is she really trying to say. It’s rather simple. She wants to know if he was just fooling around when he asked her out. Tsuge can’t understand why she’s acting like this when he was clear from the start. He intently looks at her and holds her cheeks. For a moment, she thinks he’s going to kiss her but then he spoils the moment by telling her that her lips are like the Japanese character (he) and moves the sides of her lips up to make it look better. This earns him a resounding slap. Nyahaha!

The next day, Saya is still pissed. Kazuyo reminds Saya to be more considerate. For all its worth, he is giving his best. For a proud man like him, he sure is willing to ask help for her sake. Saya mulls over that thought.

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Next, we see Saya spying on Tsuge and one of their co-workers. The co-worker tricks Tsuge and steals kisses from him. Saya sees the deliberate advance and panics. She tries to stop the deed but falls into sea instead. Tsuge notices the accident and saves the lady in distress.

Saya wakes up in a clinic. Tsuge sure is fuming at her side. He scolds her for causing him trouble. She admits her faults. It’s just that she doesn’t want him to be with other girls or be kissed in front of her. Tsuge tells her she’s just being stupid and  leans for a kiss. Kyaahh!

After the blissful event, Saya fantasizes about Tsuge. By fantasize I mean thoughts of him passionately kissing her in the elevator.  But even after they shared a kiss already, Tsuge remains distant and seemingly uninterested. Just when she gave up and be passive about their status, Tsuge hands her a note, telling her to meet at a bookstore.

And at last, a date! For the record, this will be the first real step to being a couple. And yes, this is the only smile we’ll get from fussy old Tsuge. They walk hand in hand. A strong wind blows and Saya lets go of his hands. She thinks she lost him in the crowd but he  calls her name, extends his hand and tells her not to let go.

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That night this happened. No need for words for this one, eh?

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The next morning, Tsuge brushes her hair. This is my favorite scene.🙂

Saya is undeniably content with their relationship and since they’re officially a couple, she tries to solicit a “normal” date from him. Tsuge agrees.

Their first “normal” date is at the amusement park. While Saya is enjoying the roller coaster ride, Tsuge nearly falls in a faint. Saya sees his discomfort and so he admits having fear of heights. He didn’t tell her before because, and I quote, “Men has pride not to show weakness in front of the girl they like”, end of quote. She’s all giddy hearing his confession and prods to ask what he likes about her. He answers that there’s really nothing good about her, but at least she’s still composed. His answer is enough to brighten her mood even more.

Things are going smoothly with our couple until  Senior Managing Director Yoshimichi re-assigns Tsuge to the hotel’s new branch in Paris. It comes as a surprise as Tsuge isn’t expecting the promotion just yet. But then again, saying no to the Director is taboo. Tsuge witnesses his boss’ inconsiderate demeanor when the latter demoted Manager Matsushita to a personal driver just because he chose family over career.

That evening Tsuge and Yoshimichi meet with Yoshimichi’s little sister, Shiori in a resto. She’s on a matchmaking date. Her date turns to be a bore so she abandons him and joins her brothers company. However, Yoshimichi goes first, leaving Tsuge and Shiori alone. Tsuge tries to leave but Shiori insisted that he stay. He reprimands her bratty attitude. This angers her and she immediately stands, not noticing the waiter bringing hot food. On instinct, Tsuge applies some ice on the burnt skin and offers to send her to the hospital.

This marks the beginning of an obsession. Shiori gets an instant infatuation to Tsuge and uses ways to get hold of him. She even appoints herself as a Special Adviser for the Paris branch operations just to be with him. Rumors and speculations of a secret relationship between the two spread among hotel employees.

On the eve of Saya’s birthday, Hino invites her for dinner. There, Saya asks if Hino ever two-timed. Without beating around the bush, he says yes and further explains that if a man is not serious with one of the girls, he would. But if he is, he won’t. He then asks if Tsuge is two-timing her. She assures that he doesn’t. It’s just that she feels unworthy to be by his side. Hino boosts her confidence and reassures that she’s also a good catch.

It’s Saya’s birthday and they are spending the special day with Kazuyo and her boyfriend. While, Kazuyo and Tsuge are talking, Saya overhears that Tsuge’s birthday was 2 weeks ago. Secretly, she goes off to buy him a gift. Her sudden disappearance worries Tsuge and riles him up. Saya is hurt and tells her that their relationship is that of a teacher and student. He doesn’t act like her bf. He didn’t even tell her when his birthday is or clarify things with Shiori.

Tsuge denies all rumors and reasons that his relationship with Shiori is purely business. Still, Saya is unconvinced. All he thinks of is himself. She walks off and gets nearly hit by car. Her gift for him, a scarf, falls to the ground.

After the incident, Kazuyo tells Saya to believe in Tsuge. She then reveals that Tsuge is going to be transferred overseas.

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After knowing everything, Saya is first to say sorry. Tsuge explains that he originally thought of tagging her along but the reassignment is too early. Since she decided to have a double date with Kazuyo during her birthday, he wasn’t able to his birthday gift. In case you’re wondering what the gift is, well, it’s a ring.

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At his house, Saya notices that the place is almost empty. The reason why is because he doesn’t hold on to things. During his 6th birthday, everything was seized because of his father’s debt. As a result, he lived his life in part-time jobs and scholarships. From then on, he feels like if he stop, he’ll fall. Saya assures that it’s okay to fall. If that ever happens, she’ll be holding his hand.

Tsuge goes to Paris and they maintain a long distance relationship. He gets too busy at work and rarely finds time to reply to Saya’s messages. Even his scheduled temporary return is moved.

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Saya confides her love problems to Hino. He eases her worries and tells her that though far away, Tsuge is doing his best. He remembers the time when he was at the US, he thinks of her often. He wants to call her countless times but he thought that in doing so, it’ll weaken his resolve. Before they part ways, Saya promises to attend one of Hino’s stage plays. Hino sadly smiles and walks away. Inside the house, Saya immediately searches the internet for Hino’s plays and learns that he is being bashed.

Let’s not forget that Hino is a celebrity and has a fair share of paparazzi. So, yeah, basically pictures of Saya and Hino parades on the newspapers the next day.

Tsuge returns after 6 months. Director shows him the article about Saya and Hino. But Tsuge acts unaffected. Director then invites Tsuge for dinner. Tsuge politely declines since he’ll be attending a subordinates wedding. But then again the Director isn’t someone to be turned down.

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At dinner, Director and Shiori discuss about Tsuge and Shiori’s upcoming wedding. Tsuge is surprised that they are planning his wedding without him knowing. He says sorry for the misunderstanding and confesses that he already has a girlfriend.

Shiori gets drunk and the Director asks Tsuge to handle the matter. Since he doesn’t know where to drop her, he brings him to his house.  Meanwhile, Hino sincerely apologizes to Saya for the article and offers to explain things to Tsuge personally.

And so they all meet together at Tsuge’s. Shiori tactlessly comments about Saya’s plain looks. Annoyed, Hino hits Tsuge in the face and tells Saya to just leave. But Saya refuses to go, not until she resolves the issue with Tsuge.

Alone, Tsuge forbids Saya to see Hino in the future. Saya is disappointed that Tsuge doesn’t trust her. She can’t do that to Hino. He may not be her lover but he is a good friend. Even when Hino has problems, he was always there for her. Hino is willing to set his career aside unlike Tsuge who will do everything for his career’s sake. The couple breaks up after that.

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Hino is desperate to have a talk with Saya but she keeps her distance. Few hours of him waiting under the rain, Saya finally gives in and let him spend the night over her place. Even then, Hino can’t find the courage to say what he really feels.

Saya walks Hino to the station. Before the train door closes, Hino pulls Saya inside, telling her that he’s tired of holding back and won’t give her up anymore. They spend time in a church. There, Hino confesses that he still likes her. He leans for a kiss but Saya pulls back. Hino understands that he came back too late and she has already moved on.

They go to the field where they look for 4-leaf clovers long before. Hino finds one and gives it to her. He shouts how much he likes Saya and encourages her to let it out too. She concedes and shouts that Tsuge is an idiot for not believing in her. He’s more idiot than she is. Hino asks if she’s already sure that Tsuge is the one. She tells him that it’s not about her being sure but about Tsuge being in her heart. She returns the 4-leaf clover to him, saying that it will only work if she believes in it.

Tsuge begs to call off the wedding. Shiori agrees on the condition that he’ll sleep with her. Tsuge doesn’t believe her. She then offers him tea with sleeping pills on it. The next morning, Tsuge wakes up naked and innocent of Shiori’s evil ploys. She demands that he go with her to meet her father. Tsuge insists that nothing happened between them but Shiori shows a picture of them. In the end, Tsuge is forced to marry her.

News of Tsuge and Shiori’s marriage spreads like wild fire. And of course, the engagement party will be held at Toyo hotel. Worse, Saya is assigned to give flowers to Shiori. Saya is still on a daze. She accidentally drops the bouquet and surprisingly of all times, she finds 4-leaf clover.

On the way to the party, Tsuge can’t stand it anymore. He kneels and begs Shiori to call off the wedding.

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Shiori is scandalized. To save face, she tells Tsuge that he is boring and plain. Tsuge admits that indeed he is.

The crowd sees Tsuge and gets hype up. But he remains oblivious to the cheers and looks for Saya. He says sorry for doubting her. He’s too jealous, self-centered and a wuss. He maybe transferred or get fired bu he doesn’t care. At least, he finally understands the pain in his heart. She’s the thorn he can’t pull out. At last, Saya shows up. Teary-eyed, she tells him that she doesn’t need those words. It’s all useless. He goes down. All he’s trying to say is he loves her and asks if she wants to marry him.

Meanwhile, the Director and Shiori listens. The Director admires Tsuge for his courage. And for that, he won’t be terminated. Shiori admits defeat and jokes that she was only playing around.

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Everything is put into place. Co-workers congratulates Saya and amidst the merriment, she lost her 4-leaf clover. She finds it under the table where Tsuge is waiting. They share sweet kisses.

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Now, she finally finds her very own 4-leaf clover.

Posted on March 13, 2016, in Japanese Drama/ Movies and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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