A high school student named Yu has a crush on one of her classmates, Yosuke. The boy spends most of his time sitting outside and playing his guitar, and Yu sits nearby and listens. One day,... See full summary »
Freelance writer Aoi Teshigahara lives in Paris, France. Sen Yagami is a photographer who came to Paris, France due to his younger sister Suzume's insistence. Over the next 3 days, Aoi ... See full summary »
Kaoru dreamily gazes from her bedroom window each morning just before dawn. She can see a stretch of the beach in front of her parent's house on a hill in Kamakura, but focuses upon the ... See full summary »
Shou's father Norio finds his son in a rather meaningless existence in Tokyo dominated by alcohol and porn videos. Having left home two years earlier to pursue life as a musician, Shou has ... See full summary »
As a child Takuma is diagnosed with a heart condition that requires care from a cardiologist. He soon becomes friends with his doctors young daughter Mayu while being treated at the ... See full summary »
Moemi is not overly pleased when Yukio brings home a couple of turtles to keep her company. Although Yukio works at home as a writer, Moemi feels neglected and desired a dog or a cat, but ... See full summary »
I'm the kind of person who likes to try random genres of film, and I have a special weakness for anything from Japan and Korea. Without hesitation I gave "Halfway" a try.
It's a very simple story about two high school seniors who fall for each other and then find themselves on diverging paths. Nothing particularly original here. The dialogue and the romance stays as basic as what I imagine a relationship at the grade school level would be like in the West. That surprised me to say the least, although being as the story is set in rural Hokkaido, the northern Island of Japan, far from futuristic Tokyo, it is believable.
The cinematography is excellent, despite being shot hand held, it captures the warm fading glow of autumn, a good allusion to the senior year of high school. Interesting also is that most of the scenes could be anywhere in North America, or even Europe, instead of the focus on Tokyo's concrete jungle we often see in films set in Japan.
The deal maker or breaker for this film is the pacing, the dialogue, and ultimately the story. If you like slow pacing, limited bursts of dialogue that try to convey a sense of what I can only imagine is a real high school relationship in this setting, you will enjoy this film. On the other hand, if you prefer faster pacing, more complex story lines and dialogue with more wit or edge, you will find this film's 85 minutes excessively long.
I tend to lean towards the latter but I take exception for this film because it gave me a slice of life from somewhere I could never have experienced, in a beautifully shot package.
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