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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Soushite chichi ni naru (2013)


Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: family
Cast: Fukuyama Masaharu, Lily Franky, Maki Yoko, Ono Machiko, Ninomiya Keita, Shogen Hwang, Kunimura Jun, Kiki Kirin, Natsuyagi Isao, Fubuki Jun,
Synopsis: Nonomiya family consists of successful businessman Ryota, sweet and caring housewife Midori and their son Keita. Idyllic life of Ryota is broken with a phone call from the hospital were Keita was born with a message that "their son" was changed after birth and they have been raising someone's else child for 6 years. They meet with Saiki family - father Yudai who is  carefree small electronic shop owner, down-to-earth Yukari, Nonomiya's real son Ryusei and Saiki's two younger children. The families must face the difficult decision whether blood-ties or time spent with child is more important.
Rating: 5/5
This movie has gone through many many film festivals and has won Jury prize on Cannes Film festival. It is talking about really delicate subject and it made me think about many many things.

Nonomiya Ryota is perfectionist - he wants everything to be the way he thinks they should be - THE
 BEST OF ALL - and it applies to both work and family. That's way no matter how much he invests into Keita he is disappointed when Keita is not the most talented in everything. He has never actually had father-son time with Keita, because he is working even on weekends. He has his pride and to keep it he is does things to match with it, but he has a bad institution to disagree with others even if they are thinking the same way. Through the things that follow he starts to think about lot of things including what it really is to be a father. You can see how he starts to understand his own mistakes and regret for not admitting them sooner.  Midori is almost like a shadow behind Ryota - supporting him and leaving her own wishes behind. As a mother she patient and allows to have more free time - she cannot have any more children, so she invests so much time into her only child as possible, which also makes things difficult for her as her only "Keita" must be changed into her real "Ryusei". She is the form of mother's guilt and worry.
Saiki Yudai is diametrically opposite father from Ryota. Yudai loves spending time with children and rather takes a break from job than take extra work. He knows that only children are the real legacy that stays into this world. Even though he looks really hick when he is in Tokyo on meetings, he is actually does not care of having money and expensive things - family is the most important for him. Yukari is the down-to-earth side of their marriage. She might look distant and angry at times, but in reality she is loving mother, who in this situation must think about more than one child. I really liked one scene which made me like her the most in this movie - a hug scene. And again I must quote one retired Disney-princess "When hugging a child, never be the first one to let go - you never know for how long the child needs it". Children need physical touch with their parents for them to feel secure and have right mental growth (My mom is social worker so she has talked for hours about
this subject - so the point is - HUG your children! They need it!) The thing I like the most about the movie is how the affect of the situation on boys is shown. They do not say it clearly out what they think about it, but you can see how hard it is on them. Keita is forcing himself to act as "Father" Ryota wanted and for the first time feels what it is to actually spend quality time with father. Ryosei is feeling trapped in small too clean apartment in a big city where he is not allowed to go out alone, while before the whole city was his playground. For him it was like his freedom is taken away and Keita had to let go of his everyday routine. Not to mention, that already the fact that they were unable to see their "parents" who raised them this long.
The actor work is amazing in this movie, especially when it comes to boys, because they are so young. From grown-ups of course Fukuyama Masaharu was the real lead, but I think I liked Maki Yoko and Ono Machiko more - maybe due to womanly instinct, but I really felt the emotions and thoughts they were having. I bet men more understand what fathers were going through in this movie and felt Fukuyama Masaharu and Lily Franky's acting more, but that's the diversity of sexes. This movie is a perfect example of how child's first years of life influence his/her personality and mental growth. I do not think that either of these versions shown in the movie is better form other, because the perfect is the combination of both of them. I think it is important for child to have time to play and act as a child, but it is also important to give directions and teach elemental politeness. As at the moment I am seller at Christmas market I see all kind of children everyday - and believe me - they are the mirror of their parents who raised them.
If I had this kind of situation I would never change them back - I would divide the weekends so that on one the children will stay at one family and the other weekend with other family. I know it would be very difficult, but at least this way I am not throwing away the child I have raised and neither I am pushing away my real child. I do not believe in this "blood-stuff" as the whole idea of adoption is raising someone's else child. Child is a child and they all need to be loved and protected.
The director Koreeeda Hirokazu first started to think about the importance of blood-lines or time spent together after he first became father 5 years ago.
This movie has amazing audio-selection for OST and I truly enjoyed watching it. It is heartwarming movie and whether you have already children or not, it gives a lot things to take into consideration in your life too. There also might come out USA-version of it as it caught Steven Spielberg's eye at Cannes.


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