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5/10
Sometimes slow, sometimes pretty, but it never really gets going
sitenoise17 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Lots of beautiful scenery of Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan but a few too many long scenes of people just standing there looking at it. There is also nothing particularly cinematic about the cinematography so it just spills across the screen at the level of an average tourist video.

For the sentimental nostalgic types the story might be a compelling one. Kuriko (Yoshino Kimura) grew up on the island but left for Tokyo as soon as she graduated high school. At twenty-five she's about to get married and returns to the island for the first time in two years to soak in and remember all that was wonderful about it before finally leaving it fully behind. Something I found a little strange is that her father doesn't recognize her when she shows up. It had only been two years since her last visit and her father is not losing his mind or anything. I think this bit of non-recognition is meant to be metaphorical, emphasizing the fact that Koriko is now a city girl more than an island girl.

Kimura plays the part well and there are a number of attempts in the script to create an emotional connection with the viewer but most of them come up short. Kuriko's father's character is the typical silent type so communication is difficult. Her mom is efficient and cheerful. There's a burly fisherman who still has a crush on Kuriko who Kuriko uses to take her to find her long lost friend whom she bonded deeply with as a teenager. He turns up dead. We've seen all these tropes before.

Finally, the English subtitles leave a lot to be desired, making things difficult to follow some times.
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