Genre Grandeur – I Wish (2011) – Blueprint: Review

For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Youth-Led Movies, here’s a review of I Wish (2011) by David of Blueprint Review.

Thanks again to Sally of 18 Cinema Lane for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s genre has been chosen by Bubbawheat of Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights and we will be reviewing our favorite Animated Comic Book/Strip Movies.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Feb by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Bubbawheat!

Let’s see what David thought of this movie:


I Wish

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Screenplay: Hirokazu Koreeda
Starring: Kôki Maeda, Ohshirô Maeda, Nene Ohtsuka, Joe Odagiri, Isao Hashizume, Kirin Kiki
Country: Japan
Running Time: 128 min
Year: 2011

I Wish (a.k.a. Kiseki), the earliest film in the set, sees two young brothers, Koichi (Kôki Maeda) and Ryunosuke (Ohshirô Maeda) separated from each other. Their parents have divorced and Koichi lives with his mother Nozomi (Nene Ohtsuka) in Kagoshima, near the active volcano Sakurajima. Ryunosuke lives with his father Kenji (Joe Odagiri) back where the family used to live, in Fukuoka. The brothers keep in touch via their mobile phones, but their parents’ differences and distance between each other means they haven’t met up since the separation. Both boys have been making new friends and getting on with the usual ups and downs of growing up, but Koichi in particular is missing life with his brother. One day in school though, he learns of a myth that the energy produced by two bullet trains passing each other will grant those nearby whatever wish they desire. So Koichi organises a trip to the spot where two new trains will first pass, with his brother and friends, with the idea to wish for his family to be reunited.

Koreeda has a great knack for capturing the essence of natural life and I Wish gives him a chance to show the world from the perspective of children. The adults take a bit of a side seat to the central brothers and their friends. We discover the wishes and desires of the children and the advice given by the ‘grown-ups’ is often lost on them

The advice and messages of the film about appreciating what you’ve got aren’t lost on the audience though as they’re clearly portrayed in the film’s fairly simple narrative. It takes a short while to get your bearings as the film jumps between the worlds of the two brothers, but you soon learn to recognise the characters within them and the ever-present volcanic ash in Kagoshima helps set that half aside. The final message and scenes are perhaps a little sentimental and neatly tied up, but Koreeda manages to narrowly avoid getting too syrupy.

Like the rest of the films in the set and Koreeda’s recent Our Little Sister, I Wish is another sweet, gently rolling family yarn. It’s possibly the lightest film of the set and the one that most closely leans towards sentimentality, but it’s still beautiful and delicately made.

One thought on “Genre Grandeur – I Wish (2011) – Blueprint: Review

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur January Finale – Rich Kids (1979) – 18 Cinema Lane | MovieRob

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