Saturday, June 6, 2009
Ping Pong - 乒乓
Ping Pong (乒乓) is a 2002 film out of Japan.
The story follows two friends that are on the school ping pong team. These two friends have been friends since childhood. The charismatic Peco wants to be the best ping pong player in the world. Smile is the introverted friend that also picks up ping pong. The pair practice together with Peco as the attacker and Smile as the defender. Peco always wins and doesn't care much for the school team.
The movie also includes Sam Lee of Hong Kong as a reject ping pong player from the China team. Hoping to make it back into the spotlight in Japan.
The movie turns into a coming of age of story for both Peco and Smile. Smile is the timid introvert that's unwilling to upset people. Smile enjoys some success and turns into a prima-donna while Peco's defeats have him soul searching. Smile about his introvert-ness. Peco about his ping pong work ethic. Peco cruise through life on his talents without putting in the time. Smile was always just tagging along.
The movie is a little long, but the story was unique and the coming of age part was quite enjoyable. However, I wasn't drawn in with any of the characters too deeply. But you don't always need to be if the story flows and entertains.