Original Title: Kiseki
Japan – 2011
Directed by: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Plot: “After their parents’ divorce, brothers Koichi (Maeda Koki) and Ryunosuke (Maeda Oshiro) are forced to live separately. While the older Koichi is miserable in Kagoshima with his mother (Otsuka Nene) and grandparents (Kiki Kirin and Hashitsume Isao), the younger Ryunosuke enjoys a laid-back life with his musician father (Odagiri Joe) in Fukuoka. Despite their different lives, the two brothers – who often contact each other on their cell phones – want desperately for their family to reunite. One day, Koichi hears that the energy generated when two trains on the new Kyushu bullet train line pass each other can make any wish come true, as long as the wisher is present. Koichi and Ryunosuke then decide to hatch a plan – with the assistance of their friends and other adults – that involves meeting at where the two trains pass and combine their wishes for a better chance of a reunion.” (Adapted from YesAsia).
Hirokazu Kore-eda is a very talented director. He has directed some of the best movies I have ever seen. For any cinema fan, many of Kore-eda’s films are actually mandatory to watch, such as Dare mo shiranai (Nobody Knows) and Aruitemo aruitemo (Still Walking). Of course there are many others, but I wanted to mention a few of the most recent ones. Kiseki follows the path of Nobody Knows (not as dramatic) and Still Walking, very natural, organic, deep and beautiful movies. Most of them or all of them, depending on the movie/ scenes, are from a child’s point of view.
Reviewer Dennis Harvey from Variety Magazine points out that Kiseki is never showy in storytelling or technique and builds a credible child’s-eye view of everyday events, making the remarkable ones seem equally uncontrived, adding that the juvenile performers (all non-pros save the two leads, who already had a sibling comedy act called MaedaMaeda) are faultless, and the grown-ups, most of them culled from prior Kore-eda casts, are ideally restrained.
James Mudge, critic for the BeyondHollywood website concludes his review by stating that Kiseki is arguably Kore-eda most entertaining and purely enjoyable film for years, captivating the viewer from start to finish with its boundless enthusiasm. In his opinion, it’s a genuine and joyful depiction of the wonders of childhood and the film is amazingly and effortlessly affecting, and should appeal to a much wider fan base.
I own this movie on a Japanese BluRay edition. It features subtitles in English (fortunately I can say this as I own many Japanese titles that doesn’t have any subtitles whatsoever). The problem is that this movie will probably cost you, in Japan, about U$ 58 – U$ 65 on the BD version or U$ 45 to U$ 52 on DVD. Expensive? A lot… Worth buying? Definitely…April 12, 2014