Two young brothers find themselves divided by their parents’ separation, attending different schools and living at opposite ends of one of Japan’s largest landmasses. Keen to reunite, and in doing so repair the rift between their parents, the boys cook up an almost mystical solution.
They agree to play truant from school and trek separately to meet where, for the first time, two Bullet Trains, speeding from opposite directions, will pass each other for a split second, believing that if they make the same wish simultaneously, their desire for reunification will somehow magically be granted in the wake of the train.
Once again, Hirokazu Kore-eda (Nobody Knows, Still Walking) shows his mastery of working with children and teasing out the complexities of adult life through his young cast. It’s at once a wonderful evocation of childhood and an emotionally stirring tale of innocence slowly evolving into experience with all the pathos, and importantly, none of the cheap sentimentality, this suggests.
A touching, warm and realistic portrait of family life in contemporary Japan, Kore-eda delivers an utterly engaging, emotionally complex portrait of parents, grandparents and teachers all seen through the prism of the pitch perfect young boys.