Lots of bits of this mostly meditative film are quite good. There are beautiful images and some heavenly soundscapes. There is also a promising central story concentrating on the friendship of two odd young boys in a provincial boarding school and their interest in choir music.
The standout character is the incredibly effeminate Yasuo, with the angelic high voice and commanding personality. His good friend, the stuttering Michio, doesn't make much of an impression, although he is the main and viewpoint character.
But it's a case of good ingredients and mediocre method. The story falls well over the line dividing leisurely and slow, and jumps around too much. The violent episodes in the middle of the film don't quite gel with the usually gentle but sometimes cruel feel of the rest. It ends up being dull and muddled, as well as frustrating, because there was much good material, of which a much better result was quite possible.
9 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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