Japanese comedy Golden Orchestra! is great mindless entertainment [Review]

Don’t watch this if you’re looking to be mentally stimulated, or if you’re after some huge war epic – but if all you want is to wind down and watch something quirky at the end of a long day, this is the film for you

Nicola Chan |

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Golden Orchestra! is the sort of film you pop on when you want to relax and reboot after a tiring week. It’s uncomplicated, has intentionally silly plots and over-the-top acting, and tells a straightforward story with a happy ending – what’s not to love?

After catching a moving performance by the Umegaoka Philharmonic Orchestra, Chizuru Koyama (Anne Watanabe) is gripped by the desire to join it herself as a violinist – but accidentally joins the Umegaoka Symphony Orchestra instead, which is an amateur elderly orchestra. Chizuru tries her best to abandon the orchestra, but finds herself unable to escape the older musicians, who simply seem to care more about having a good time than practising.

Watanabe is wonderfully expressive in Golden Orchestra!, managing to convey her emotions through the faces she pulls – which goes for all the other actors too actually. Sure, the characters are silly, and the storyline a little ludicrous, but there’s something undeniably cheerful about the film. The film is, at it’s heart, a story about how it’s never too late to pursue your dreams.

This is the first time Watanabe has taken on a leading role, and she does a good job of carrying the film. Don’t go into this film expecting accurate musical direction, music fans – there’s a lot of silly bow waving and arm flailing that you’ll never see in a real-life concert. All in all, if you're looking for a movie that’s fluffy and silly, then Golden Orchestra! is the film for you. If you’re after something a little more highbrow, then take a pass on this.

Edited by Ginny Wong