Before I record my views on this film from Japan, which was based on a famous manga, I need to explain why it has changed my thinking despite being a reasonably fine film rather than being a great one.
Films that explore the gay experience, particularly those that feature younger people coming to terms with their sexuality usually resonate with me. I am a keen supporter of LGBT rights and will stand up for these rights in a public way when necessary. I noticed that a Q appeared on this acronym a few years ago but only in some places. The Q stands for ‘questioning’, as in ‘not sure’ I suppose. Now I had a problem with that Q. Why is it needed? I understand that for gay people reaching a point of self- acceptance comes after a process but, I believed that deep down gay people knew they were gay. The process is one of coming to terms. That Q suggests that there is an element of surprise when a person comes out. Frankly, I didn’t think the Q was needed.
This film may have changed my mind!
‘Seven Days: Monday to Thursday’ is the first of two films (and there are no prizes for guessing the title of the second one!) which deals with one week in the lives of two high school boys in Japan.
As in so many Japanese films based on manga you have to accept the central premise. In this case it is that Toji Seryo, a student, dates girls for one week. At the end of the week he ends the relationship and moves on. Putting to one side the fact that most girls with self- respect would give him a wide berth on any given Monday, the whole school knows that this is how he operates and many girls seem to have treasured ‘their week’ with him.
Into this story comes Yuzuru Shino, a student who is two years older. He knows of Seryo’s reputation and is intrigued that the younger boy has such magnetism. Having been given a character analysis by his friend who also told him about her treasured week with Seryo, he finds himself next to the object of everyone’s affections outside the school gate.
Shino asks Seryo to date him. It is said half in jest, in the way that would allow the person asking to retreat behind the idea that it was just a joke. Seryo agrees and their week begins. They are awkward at first, why wouldn’t they be? Yet, as the days move to mid-week, Shino asserts his right to Seryo’s time, they are dating after all! The younger boy, meanwhile, is conflicted when his feelings for Shino grow. All the messages suggest that this is a joke on Shino’s part and they are bound to part on Sunday. Afraid of being hurt, both boys skirt around each other and fail to share their feelings honestly with each other.
The story continues in a second film covering Friday to Sunday.