In Japanese, the title of Hirokazu Kore-eda’s movie means miracle, and this film really feels like one, making us wish for more cinema as rich and poignant as this. The internationally renowned director and award winner at the Venice, Cannes and Chicago film festivals reminds us with his latest work, how good it is to be a child.
I Wish is a modern fairy tale about two young brothers living apart due to the separation of their parents, and yearning to reunite their family. From the streets of Fukuoka to the volcano of Kagoshima, these loving boys and their separate friends are dreaming and growing up at the same time. They are simultaneously refreshingly naïve and extraordinarily mature, desperate and funny, showing us the adult world through their eyes in a totally unexpected way.
When older brother Koichi discovers that a new bullet train line connecting the two towns is due to open, he believes that the intense energy generated by two trains passing in opposite directions will work a miracle, causing their wish to be reunited to come true. These charming brothers, Koichi and Ryu, are played by real-life siblings Koki and Ohshiro Maeda who give their characters a breeze of authenticity. All the children seem to evolve in a slow and contemplative space-time, pausing to observe everything around them, and taking the audience with them. The film echoes a time when everything was certain and anything was possible, allowing us to dream, do and undo prospects, try, fail, hope and understand.
These precious 128 minutes are a gift of life. Sometimes, unexpectedly, a diamond shines in the cinema and this is one them.
I Wish is released in selected cinemas on 8th February 2013.