Kami no Tsuki (Pale Moon, 2014)

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” but “The end doesn’t justify the means”

Last night, I was at the Shang Cineplex for Eiga Sai: The Japanese Film Festival. This year has to be the most jam-packed yet (To which I say, “Congratulations!”) — I was supposed to watch “Flying Colors,” but the line’s so long that I fell in the next scheduled screening, which is Kami no Tsuki (Pale Moon, 2014).

I was not confident that I will enjoy this award-winning movie (I was looking for something inspiring, then I watched this tragedy), but at the very best I understand why this got awards.

A THR review of the movie describes it:

The more she goes against society’s mores and becomes a free and independent woman, the more the noose of coming retribution tightens around her neck.

Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, 2014

As the story goes on, I slowly cringe at myself as I watch things unfold gradually. I was so anxious that I went back-and-forth the restroom to calm myself. For two hours, I occasionally say “No” in disbelief.

Above all these cringe, the lesson of “Kami no Tsuki” is that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions,” but “the end doesn’t justify the means.” There’s a reason why some of us are taught not to pickpocket from our parents’ wallets when we were children no matter what.

Japan Times review puts it:

“Not to say that “Pale Moon” (Yoshida chose the title since the direct translation of “Kami no Tsuki” is “Paper Moon,” which might cause confusion with the 1973 Peter Bogdanovich classic) is devoid of humor, but its view of Rika’s choices and crimes is serious — the risks she is taking and the lines she is crossing have life- and character-altering consequences.”

Mark Schilling, The Japan Times, 2014

This movie also showed how patience in life is very important — there are women who will wait for their prime time to live the best of life, and there’s the likes of Rika who impatiently went ahead and lived her prime time only to see that she’s doing that at the expense of others’ money.

Maybe the reason why I’m not studying accounting is that I’m not that good into numbers, or maybe I don’t trust myself to do this well. Rika made me question myself, too. Rika’s junior (as portrayed by the bubbly Yuko Oshima) did a great act showing me the temptation that is yet to be realized by Rika herself — only if she recognizes it at first.

Lastly, this reminds me not to follow the heart 100%. The last time I felt I used my heart 100%, everything fell down. Rika used her heart a lot, especially when she felt that she’s not free to do whatever she wants.

To be honest, I’m still looking forward to watch “Flying Colors,” and so I wait again.