A spell of time in the life of a family living in rural Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo. Though her husband is busy working at an office, Yoshiko is not an ordinary housewife, instead ... See full summary »
A young woman's husband apparently commits suicide without warning or reason, leaving behind his wife and infant. Yumiko remarries and moves from Osaka to a small fishing village, yet ... See full summary »
Members of a cult, modeled on Aum Shinrikyo, sabotage a city's water supply, then commit mass suicide near the shores of a lake. Family members of the perpetrators meet at the lake to observe the anniversary of their loved ones' deaths.
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 »
Sae (Yui Aragaki) is a high school student who is studying hard for her college entrance exams. She lost her father when she was very young and so lives her mother Ryoko (Hiroko Yakushimaru... 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.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?