[J Movie] Ping Pong film review (2002)

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Ping pong is a movie that circles around the themes of friendship, stereotypes and passion. The movie displays the friendship between the two main characters. Peco is very outgoing, lively and enthusiastic about pingpong. Smile on the other hand is more passive and plays ping pong as a past time. In spite of their contrasting personalities, they are good friends that understand each other. Smile really values their friendship that he is willing to lose to his friend even if he himself knows that he is more skillful than Peco. He knows how Peco treats ping pong as his life. I see Smile as a true and selfless friend. As for Peco, I can really feel his passion for ping pong. Although he lost to China in the start and this triggered his love for ping pong, Peco didn’t give up and did his best to hone his skills. If there’s really something that we love to do or something that we are passionate about, we should go for it and don’t think about the drawbacks but rather invest our time in honing our skills and talents.

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There was a scene when the parents were accompanying their son to the table tennis competition. The parents gave him words of encouragement and motivated him to participate in the game even if he needs to compete with a tough player from China. I think that the parents were pressuring their son to play and excel. This situation can happen to anyone especially in our generation where society is competitive and people are striving for excellence and the best. I think that this scene is evident among Asian countries and one factor is culture. Parents often support their children during contests, events, etc. I think that the movie was trying to portray that families are usually close-knitted especially among the Japanese.

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Another theme that is present in the film is stereotype. We can always hear Peco and others call the Chinese player, China. It shows how the Japanese discriminates the Chinese and this goes on with the history between these two countries. We knew how the Japanese soldiers treated the Chinese during the war. There’s still an ongoing conflict between these two countries because of an island. We also see how these two countries are competing with one another in terms of economic status especially these days. The kind of China-Japan relationship that we have today is portrayed in this film. The Japanese find the Chinese quite intimidating and superior, but in reality they shouldn’t be afraid of China’s large population and army. Having seen Peco won and defeated China in the end might mean that Japan could also be superior over China as long as she tries and believes in her own skills and capabilities.

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What I liked about this movie is that it’s very appealing from the very start until the end. On the first scene when Peco shouted “I can fly!”, it catches the attention of the audience and makes us wonder what will happen to him next. During the last scene when Peco had a match with Smile, it also makes us wonder who would win. I also find the effects and music appealing. The music complemented the scenes well. I also find the themes easy to relate with especially because the characters are just about my age. Overall, it’s a good movie that I would recommend especially to ping pong enthusiasts and for those who simply like to watch movies.

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