FILM FESTIVAL FILM REVIEW: London Film Festival || Director/Writer Hirokazu Koreeda | Cinematographer Mikiya Takimoto | Starring Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono, Yoko Maki, Riri Furanki (as “Lily Franky”) | Length 121 minutes | Seen at Renoir, London, Tuesday 15 October 2013 || My Rating excellent
I think this was my favourite film in the London Film Festival this year, but I’m finding it difficult to write much about it. In part, that’s because this delicate story of parents discovering that their six-year-old son was switched at birth is precisely that: delicate. It takes an inherently melodramatic conceit and really focuses in on the emotions of the father, Ryota (Masaharu Fukuyama), as he tries to come to terms with the situation. He is a hard-working banker who loves his son but has not been greatly involved in his life; his family have prompted him to believe that bloodlines are very important, so when he discovers his ‘real’ son is being raised by a poorer couple with several other children, he feels he needs to ‘rescue’ him.