Kiseki / 奇跡 / I Wish
Hirokazu Kore-eda’s joyful Kiseki is the perfect antidote to the downbeat mood that has gripped the nation after the great Touhoku earthquake, tsunami and ongoing nuclear crisis. The story revolves around the delightful talents of young brothers, Koki (12) and Oshiro (10), who work as a manzai duo under the name of Maeda Maeda. Koki plays Koichi, living with his mother in Kagoshima. Oshiro plays Ryunosuke, living with their father in Fukuoka. Miles apart they come upon an idea to reunite their estranged parents when they hear that a miracle will occur when the new Kyushu Shinkansen will be completed – the device that would physically and metaphorically reunite their divided family. Kore-eda brings his best instincts to a family film, addressing deeper issues of split families using humor and intelligence, leavened with a bittersweet lack of sentimentality. When the train makes its maiden run an unexpected miracle does happen. It’s the sort of miracle that Kore-eda at his best – and he is in Kiseki – brings to his films with profundity, simplicity and complete cinematic honesty.
Originally published in EL Magazine, June 2011