Hikari Mitsushima

Hikari Mitsushima

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Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai Review


Excellent
Using muted colours and dark emotions, Miike takes a remarkably restrained approach in this 3D remake of the 1962 samurai classic. It's a slow-burning 17th century Shakespearian tragedy with an astonishing attention to detail and a huge emotional kick.

Aimless without a master to serve, the ronin Hanshiro (Ichikawa) turns up in the courtyard of a great house asking to commit ritual suicide and die with honour. Before granting permission, the house prefect Kageyu (Yakusho) recounts the story of the similarly penniless Motome (Eita), who made the same request in the hopes of receiving a compassionate payout and pardon from the nobleman.

But Kageyu called Motome's bluff, leading to a horrific seppuku with Motome's bamboo blade. What Kageyu doesn't know is that Hanshiro knew Motome.

Continue reading: Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai Review

Villain Review


Excellent
A difficult, realistic look at a complex situation, this film explores good and evil in a way that's far more thoughtful than we usually see in cinema. And its emotional crescendo is reminiscent of Anderson's Magnolia or Haggis' Crash.

The lonely Yuichi (Tsumabuki) is trying to find love in an online chatroom, but the chirpy Yoshino (Mitsushima) ditches him when she meets the much cooler Masuo (Okada). When Yoshino turns up dead, the police suspect Masuo of murder.

Meanwhile, Yuichi meets Mitsuyo (Fukatsu), a girl who's clearly more on his wavelength. But he soon becomes the lead murder suspect. At the same time, Yoshino's father (Emoto) and Yuichi's grandmother (Kiki), who raised him after his mother left town, are both struggling to find peace with the situation.

Continue reading: Villain Review

Sawako Decides Review


Excellent
This Japanese comedy-drama's original title translates as "Hello From the Bottom of the River", echoing the sense that we're powerless against life's strong currents. And the combination of black wit and warm emotion is surprisingly hopeful.

After five years, five jobs and five boyfriends in Tokyo, Sawako (Mitsushima) is tired of settling for second best. Constantly belittled at work, her nice-nerd boyfriend Kenichi (Endo) wants her to be a mother to his 4-year-old daughter Kayoko (Aihara) from a previous marriage. Then her father (Iwamatsu) falls ill and her uncle (Shiga) summons her home to run the family river clam-packing business. So she heads back home, accompanied by Kenichi and Kayoko. Can she tough it out and give it her best shot?

Continue reading: Sawako Decides Review

Krakera: A Piece Of Our Life Review


Good
Based on a best-selling manga, this offbeat relationship drama has a wildly uneven tone and a strangely elusive story. But it's still an intriguing mix of offbeat situations and characters.

Passive and shy, Haru (Mitsushima) is annoyed with her brutish boyfriend and dull routine but can't be bothered to change anything. Then one day the bold, friendly Riko (Nakamura) introduces herself in a cafe: "I'm interested in you because you're cute." And Haru isn't quite sure what to make of her. Riko makes prosthetics for a living, and clearly sees that maybe she can help mend Haru's soul. She's probably right about that, but their on-off relationship seriously tests both of them.

Continue reading: Krakera: A Piece Of Our Life Review

Hikari Mitsushima

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Hikari Mitsushima Movies

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai Movie Review

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai Movie Review

Using muted colours and dark emotions, Miike takes a remarkably restrained approach in this 3D...

Villain Movie Review

Villain Movie Review

A difficult, realistic look at a complex situation, this film explores good and evil in...

Sawako Decides Movie Review

Sawako Decides Movie Review

This Japanese comedy-drama's original title translates as "Hello From the Bottom of the River", echoing...

Krakera: A Piece of Our Life Movie Review

Krakera: A Piece of Our Life Movie Review

Based on a best-selling manga, this offbeat relationship drama has a wildly uneven tone and...

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