Nov 10, 2010

Beyond Nino's Tears in "Freeter"

In the latest Japanese drama which Nino-kun (whom I affectionately refer him to. :P actual name: 二宮和也 Ninomiya Kazunari), フリーター、家を買う, Nino acts as Seiji,a freeter, a young graduate who could not hold a full-time job and kept changing his part-time jobs, while he continued his search for jobs. But from the second episode onwards, a change is seen in his character. He started to stay in his construction part-time job, and searches for jobs more seriously, as his mother is diagnosed with depression.

Due to jealousy, the neighbours had been bullying the mother for 10 years, and all the while she suffered in silence. Finally depression set in when the situation at home got worse: Seiji is unable to find a full-time job and his dad is very disappointed in him. Eventually all three are unable to eat at the same table.

Finally after finding out the main reason for her depression woes, Seiji and his sister would like to move, but his dad refused, as he refused to give up the low rent of his current house, provided by his company. Actually, his dad had not been truthful. He would rather spend money on his mistress than on his wife. But that's another tale to tell.

And so, the scene is set, just like what the title of the drama reads, Seiji decided that he will buy a house for his family, since his dad won't. But it will not be easy for a freeter like him.

In last night's episode- Episode 4, it was especially sad, to see Seiji cry. As the sole caregiver for his mother, he had been burning two ends of the candle: working hard on the construction site, look for jobs, go for interviews, ensure his mum is taking medicine on time, bring her for checkups, etc; all the time, his dad just kept flooding him with negative comments: you will never be able to buy the house; your mother is just weak, etc. But ironically, it was the dad who caused all these troubles. His slip of tongue has given the neighbour a reason to bully the gentle mother.

The breakdown by Seiji, shows how important it is to support caregivers. For them, it is like an onset of troubles. Troubles just keep coming, but life still goes on. If they also give up, what happens to their loved ones who depended on them?

Mmm... I think HPB can consider using/ adapting this drama serial for their mental wellness campaign. All the touchpoints are covered: depression (and its symptoms), issues faced by caregiver and family members who are in denial of their sick family member.

Can't wait to see the next episode...

Btw I think Nino's acting skills have really improved. 很有内心戏的哭戏。

**The bullying issue in the drama really strikes a chord with recent news. These days, in Japan, the news have been covering on a bullying case, whereby a young girl aged 12, had committed suicide due to suspected bullying at school. She had changed school, and since been bullied at school.

Man is no island. We can't live alone. But yet, there are some people who will join the wagon, without thinking straight, and isolate one person, pushing him/ her over the cliff. It's really sad to see such news.