Sunday, 3 March 2013


And who says reality is boring? Hirokazu Koreeda captures reality in I Wish, and embraces it. He lets us people-watch for two hours, to sit and observe, and thus to appreciate the beauty of these people, and of people in general. No histrionics, no forced humour, no violence, no nudity - gosh, what a bore this ought to be! But Koreeda fills his time teasing out the subtle intricacies that define each of us, that render us all different from one another, and yet the same in all possessing such differences. Through a large ensemble, but with a particular focus on two separated brothers, what reaches our eyes and ears is no less than a meditation on the human spirit. Koreeda is not concerned with what, nor even why, but how, and what effect things have on those involved. Not actions but reactions, and thoughts, and motives, few of which are actually verbalised, all of which are intuited. We can sense how these people feel, and thereby understand why they act and react as they do, due to a screenplay that accomplishes a considerable feat - it doesn't mould its characters so much as respond to them, as if it is diving into their lives already in progress, already fully formed, and also in the process of being formed. Faultless performances, apparently devoid of self-awareness (and yet surely, in some or all cases, achieved as a result of keen awareness), are of immeasurable assistance. In his devotion to the task he is undertaking, as modest as its scale may be, and in his thorough success, Koreeda's rumination on reality is a quiet little triumph.