Movie Review: The Ramen Girl

If you love cross-cultural movie, The Ramen Girl is the one to watch. Not only the movie is inspiring, but it’s also touching and funny. It tells about an American girl who wants to learn how to cook Ramen (Japanese noodle) to get away from the misery of her life. She does all her efforts to be a Ramen girl.

The story starts with Abby (Brittany Murphy) coming to Tokyo from America to meet her boyfriend Ethan who has a business in there. However, after they meet each other in Tokyo, the boy dissapointed her and just left her. Desperate with this situation, the girl has nothing to do and nowhere to go until finally she decides to learn how to cook Ramen from the owner of the Ramen shop next to her apartment.

At the beginning of her training to cook Ramen, she meets a Japanese boy Toshi (Sohee Park) who used to go to college in US. They soon have a romantic relationship because they think they have something in common; they have difficulty to do what they really want because of the situation. Unfortunately, the boy then have to commute to work in Shanghai and thus he has to leave Abby. He asks her to go with him, but the girl refuses. She thinks that she has to do what she wants to do: to learn how to cook Ramen.

However, to cook Ramen is not as simple as she thought. Morover, she has to learn it from a tyrannical master, the owner of the shop nearby, who treats her rudely. At first, she has to clean up pans, floors, toilets, and other stuffs until they have no even a spot. The master, however, don’t see the girl in all seriousness even she has done all he wants her to do. He thinks that the girl has no spirit, ignorant, and lack of appreciation. The girl once thought that she would quit, but she changes her mind and keep learning to cook Ramen from the master. She thinks that Ramen can make people happy and laugh, and that’s all she wants to do to get away from her sorrow.

The funny things appear all the time in this movie when the master and the girl speak in different languages (Japanes and English). She finds it difficult to understand the master’s instructions. Even though she thinks she has done what she saw and learned all the master did to cook Ramen, but the master thinks that she has got no spirit, which is the important thing, in cooking Ramen. Finally, the master takes her to his mother to teach her about the spirit when cooking Ramen.

Actually, the master acknowledges that Abby has done great things when cooking Ramen, and he thinks she can do it well. All she needs is to find spirit in that stuff. When the master’s mother teaches her about the spirit, she tells that the girl should think that the Ramen she cooks is a gift for her customers. She has to give it with all her heart and love. However, the girl finds it difficult since she has no love because all she has is pain and sorrow. The mother’s master says that if that is all the girl has, then she has to put that feeling when cooking Ramen.

The following day, Abby tries what she gets from the mother’s master, i.e. to put feeling into her Ramen, which is successful. Her first cooking makes her customers in tears, including the master who finally tastes the Ramen. She then becomes the successor of the master and open a Ramen restaurant as soon as she gets back to America.

What I learn from this movie is that we have to be serious in doing something that we wants to master, no matter the burdens and obstacles that come across. Once we become the master, we have to do our job with love and share to the others as a gift. Besides, we must work hard to get what we want and stick out to our commitment.

Anyone also seen this movie? what do you think? (ceps)

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