Movie review: 'I WISH'

The simplicity and beauty of life is appreciated after watching Hirokazu Koreeda's new film, 'I WISH.' Presented in Japanese, with English subtitles, the movie is set to be released on May 11. ‘I WISH’ is centered on the Kyushu Shinkansen train line's Northern portion, which opened in Japan on March 12, 2011.

According the to press release, the director's intention is not to promote the line, nor to make a movie about Kyushu, but rather to create a film that anyone can relate to, and be moved by.

The film is filled with lighthearted childish humor, slight tear-jerking moments, and wonderful dialogue, leaving the audience in a positive mood.

The story follows two brothers, Koichi and Ryunosuke (Ryu) who are separated after their parents divorce.

One day in class, Koichi hears a rumor that when the train line is done being built, the intensity of the its speed will grant wishes - but only if present the first time opposing lines pass each other.

Koichi and his friends scavenge their town for money, and sell whatever they can in order to reach the exact spot where the trains will meet. With the help of the adults around them, Koichi and his friends meet up with his brother Ryu, and the group heads on, wishes at hand.

The elder of the two brothers, Koichi lives in Kagoshima (the Southern region of Kyushu) with his mother and her parents. The audience feels his stress as he takes on the responsibility of somehow getting his family back together.

The younger brother, Ryu lives in Hakata (the Northern region of Kyushu) with his father, who, in his thirties, still wishes to become a famous rock star. Ryu is realistic, and unlike his brother, doesn't wish for his parents to be reunited again. Ryu remembers the fights, and although he misses his brother, he’d rather spend his wish on something else.

The film starts off very slow paced, and the audience waits for that one climactic scene that brings the story together.

That scene finally occurs once the bullet trains pass each other for the first time, and is well worth the wait. The audience is left feeling touched and appreciative for the little moments in life that are usually taken for granted.