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I Wish (DVD Review)

30 Oct, 2012 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Street 11/6/12
Box Office $0.15 million
$26.98 DVD
Rated ‘PG’ for mild thematic elements, language and smoking.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

I Wish taps into childhood aspiration and the idea that if you just wish and believe hard enough, things will happen for you.

The film centers on Koichi (Koki Maeda), a boy living with his mother (Nene Ohtsuka) and grandparents in Kagoshima, Japan. Though they provide a loving home, he longs to be reunited with his brother Ryu (Ohshirô Maeda) and father (Jô Odagiri), who moved away after his parents split. The film doesn’t explain why the brothers live apart.

Meanwhile, the self-sufficient, upbeat Ryu seems to be coping well with this living arrangement with his lazy musician father. The boy frequently calls his older brother, Koichi, who expresses his wish for the family to be together again.

Koichi and his friends learn of a legend about a miracle happening when the first trains from the new bullet-train service cross each other at top speeds. Maybe the family will be reunited after all. So Koichi gathers his pals and devises a plan to ditch class in time to get to the very location where the trains will pass, and Ryu does the same. The little adventurers meet halfway in what becomes a coming-of-age journey.

The kids’ wishes range from bringing a pet dog back to life and becoming an actress, to running faster and having a father quit gambling. And at that epic moment when the trains pass, you, too, will have childlike faith that the youngsters’ shouted wishes will be granted. However, in the bittersweet aftermath, the brothers, rather maturely, come to the sober realization that maybe their wish would do more harm than good.

I Wish does a great job showcasing the natural bond between these real-life brothers, as well as giving a dose of reality to a story that could have been overly optimistic.

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