Junior high school student Matusnaga Ami is on her way home from a cultural festival when she is stopped by a middle-aged male stranger at an overhead bridge. The man says he saw her dance ... See full summary »
A strict, but caring mother has an awakening when she is told she has cancer and it is terminal. She has a few months. She needs to complete her tasks in that short time frame. She needs to... See full summary »
Majime, an eccentric man in publishing company, who has unique ability of words, joins the team that will compile a new dictionary, 'The Great Passage.' In the eclectic team, he becomes ... See full summary »
Taro's business failed and he got divorced. He also left his family's home. 5 years later, his oldest daughter Natsumi, second daughter Yuka and ex-wife Junko still live in the same house ... See full summary »
Based on a book by writer - director Miwa Nishikawa, a recently widowed writer ( Masahiro Motoki,Departures)whose wife died in a bus crash comes to terms with his grief,or lack of it, in ... See full summary »
Looking for jobs, five young friends regularly meet at one's apartment. Judging and gauging one another by their ability to land job pits the friends as also competitors. When one of the ... See full summary »
This Japanese mystery/drama is made up of three concurrent stories centring on enigmatic strangers who enter the orbits of trusting individuals from different Japanese cities, while a grim double-murder investigation plays out in the background. In Chiba, an ex sex worker forms a relationship with a taciturn young man whom her father is wary of, a confident gay man begins a relationship with a quiet and mysterious man he met in a seedy joint in downtown Tokyo and a young lady newly arrived in Okinawa befriends a drifter who lives alone on a nearby island.
I must say that I found this film to be pretty riveting from start to finish. The detective strand of the story takes a bit of a back-seat while the three main plot strands propel forwards. But the whodunit aspect remains extremely compelling and I was gripped to the end. The various stories all play off feelings of trust/mistrust in regard to how the trio of strangers are perceived and treated by the people they come into contact with. The acting by the ensemble cast is very strong throughout and the different dramas all have a strong dramatic punch to them. The film is pleasingly unpredictable and it really is difficult working out how it is going to play out, which is of course a big bonus for a mystery movie, but while the ending was satisfying it might have been slightly less than the journey getting there. This is a fairly minor complaint as this as a whole is a very strong bit of Japanese cinema. Be warned though, there is one extremely harrowing scene mid-way through the picture which was hell of a difficult to watch and very emotionally tough indeed. A couple of folks at the screening I attended walked out at this point in actual fact, I won't say any more as its best to go into this with no prior knowledge as it is a key scene. So, it is a film which is definitely tough in places. It is a very impressive bit of work though, with strong dramatics underpinned by a compelling mystery framework and it is well worth seeing if you can take films with disturbing content.
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