I Wish – The World

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 5.43.59I Wish is one of those masterpieces, leaving you full of hope and happier than ever at its end. Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda, refilled me with children hope, determination and dreams.
With his sleek, intimate film, he gently and slowly, disarms you, entrusting you to children.

(Real) brothers Kohichi (Kohki Maeda), who’s the oldest, and Ryu (Ohshiro Maeda) are leaving apart from each other, because of separate parents. Kohichi leaves with their mother in Kagoshima and Ryu with their father in Osaka.
The elder dreams of seing his family reunited, he cannot be fully happy because of this, and isn’t understanding how his younger brother is able to have fun and take the whole situation this lightly, while he’s constantly thinking and trying to find a way to reconcile their parents.

Anyway, one day he hears a rumor saying that a new high-speed train is about to get into the rails, and it will meet another train on a double track. Whoever assist to their encounter, and make a wish at that specific time, will see it come true. Starts the journey of Kohichi planning the whole thing with enormous energy and determination, boarding his friends with him, and his brother (who will also take his friends along with him).

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 1.03.22The director takes us into the very intimacy of families, we enter a community or two communities actually, Kagoshima’s and Osaka’s. With a beautiful dreamy soundtrack, and a sleek photography, we wander between habits of our characters and the beautiful landscapes they live in; the Sakurajima volcano of Kagoshima and the multiple city lights of Osaka.

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 9.37.30 Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 9.51.05However, we are primarily seing the events from Kohichi’s point of view, and experience the same things. Our little guy is feeling trapped into this broken family, desperately trying fit two pieces of the destroyed puzzle of his life. And he doesn’t understand why people are still living in this town with this big threat that the volcano represents, along with its ashes brought by the wind, symbolizing the rests of his destroyed home. He doesn’t understand a multitude things, and give it a lot of thoughts.

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 10.11.13Koreeda is using in his movie various opposed shots, jumping from an open space to a closed space and vice versa, in order to highlight the differences between expectations and dreams of Kagoshima’s and Osaka’s population, professionally speaking. For example, Kenji (Joe Odagiri) the father of the two boys, is hoping for a rockstar career, and Ryu’s friend Megumi (Kyara Uchida) wants to become an actress, whereas, Kohichi’s friends Yu (Ryoga Hayashi) and Shin (Hosinosuke Nagayosi) dreams of marrying the same teacher.

A beautiful scene shows this gap; Kohichi calls his father from his small balcony, and at this moment, Kenji was heading home, and was walking along a river. Closed spaces/open spaces.

But at the end, I Wish gives us a life lesson; better to choose the world, as it is. It is better to manage things as they are, and not trying to fix an irrecoverable thing. And doesn’t people say: out of the mouth of children comes the truth?

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 5.44.46


The Grand Budapest Hotel – Royal Symmetry

Absent for a while, I came back with the most interesting piece of art to critic and comment from my humble point of view.

Looks like a painting of Magritte. Beautiful composition from white, through black, to colors.

Looks like a painting of Magritte. Beautiful composition from white, through black, to colors.

Wes Anderson
‘s control of symmetry never stroke me more than on his last visual exploit that is extremely pleasant for the eye. The Grand Budapest Hotel shows an excruciating sensibility emerging from this ability to direct exact symmetry almost in a “royal” way, with exquisite choice of decor’s and costumes’ colors. It marked me to the extent that I am still writing with a sort of british aristocratic accent in my head.

Apart from the equivalent of caviar for the eye, the movie has a funny structure composed of five parts narrated by F. Murray Abraham playing old Zero Mustafa, the hero, and extras narrated by Tom Wilkinson and Jude Law playing respectively the same old and young writer. Like it suggests, it is divided like a book with different chapters, introductions and one conclusion.

Raid. Symetric Love.

The symmetry in embedded even in the actors running.

The symmetry is even embedded in the actor’s running.

The main action takes place in The Grand Budapest Hotel at different time periods; 1985, 1968, and 1932 in the (former) Republic of Zubrowka, during the interwar period, adding some fireworks to the main story, that is already quite original. Indeed, Mr. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) the concierge of the hotel has this eccentric habit to be a little too friendly with the over 80 rich ladies coming to the hotel. Therefore, when one of them dies (Madame Céline Villeneuve Desgoffe ind Taxis played by the incredible Tilda Swinton), she left him her most beautiful painting. This creates quite a mess inside the family, headed by her son Dmitri (Adrien Brody), who started a very elegant but paradoxically grotesque blood bath, helped by his dexterous right hand, J.G. Jopling (Willem Dafoe).

The casting is quite impressive at first when looking at the cover of the movie, but each actor – except from Ralph Fiennes (Mr.Gustave) who has a whole chapter to himself, and even the whole “book” if I must say, and Tony Revolori, young Zero – has a little to say, or do. But everyone together brings up an exciting story in the very marginal and yet pedantic universe of Anderson.

Based on Stefan Sweig ‘s numerous novels, the style is recognizable as the basis, but then the director takes over and wraps the whole thing with an outstanding photography, offering a series of shot composed like paintings with a multitude of details for the eye to catch. Meticulous and serious composition, the director surprised me with his light but rich adventure, that I will strongly advise to go on.

To finish on a beautiful composition worthy of a painting.

To finish on a beautiful composition worthy of a painting.