Though deceased in "The Harimaya Bridge," the character Mickey is very much alive and featured as the central character in the short films "Eki" (The Station) and "Kuroi Hitsuji" (Black Sheep). "Eki," a comedy, takes place two weeks after Mickey first arrives in Japan. "Kuroi Hitsuji," a drama, takes place after Mickey has been in Japan for six months. See more »
As far as I can remember, this is most amazing thing I have yet seen.
I just saw this film in the theater yesterday and was completely blown away by it. I am somewhat of a film buff, but I can not remember ever before being so moved, so entertained and so utterly wrapped up in a movie before.
I need not say anything about the plot as the blurb here on IMDb says it all --beside which what is really important is how the story unfolds. The pacing was wonderfully done and the camera work was beautiful. There were minimal lighting effects and/or after-effects used so the picture had a more realistic feel which I felt was a good decision as it forced the director to pay careful attention to the framing of each scene and let the beautiful scenery speak for itself in order to create a visual dimension to the poetry that is the story.
As moving as the visuals are, the amazing soundtrack also needs to be commended. Some scenes employ no background music and instead rely on natural sounds or the bustling of the town etc. while other scenes really benefit from the background music that accompanies the visuals.
The actors all deserve commendations for their amazing work. There were relatively few lines spoken in the film but each was delivered with maximum effect which, along with subtle body language managed to not only properly convey the story but to add an honesty and intensity that really drew me into the character's world.
The overall direction is also superb; the way that the director brings together all these assets (beautiful locations, talented actors, gorgeous photography/music and compelling story) and wraps it all up with his clever framing/cinematography is truly amazing. The last scene stands out most in my mind where the titular bridge finally makes its appearance. While the voice-over finally explains why the bridge is so important (literally and symbolically) the camera pans carefully to give us a visual metaphor as well.
Lastly, the story is simple and yet the presentation reveals unexpected depth offering viewers some lessons which everyone could do with hearing again.
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