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Film / I Wish

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Kore-eda's focus is not on the moving gears of a plot, but in the evolving emotions of these lives, and the movie's most intense pleasure comes because it allows us to share them.

I Wish (奇跡) is a Japanese film by Kore-Eda Hirokazu released in 2011.

Koichi and Ryu are two brothers whose parents' divorce has forced to live apart. Twelve-year-old Koichi lives in Kagoshima with his mother and her aging parents, while younger Ryu has followed his father to Fukuoka. Koichi hears that when two bullet trains speed past one another, the energy released allows wishes to come true, and decides to try and wish for his family to come back together. He arranges to meet his brother halfway down the route of a new bullet train, along with some of their friends each with a wish of his or her own, and see if it works. The trip is a formative experience for all of them.


This film features examples of:

  • Bittersweet Ending
  • Catchphrase: Koichi's is "I don't get it."
  • Chekhov's Skill: One of Ryu's girlfriends is an aspiring child actress, and her acting skills eventually come in handy.
  • Chick Magnet: Ryu's easy smile and bubbly personality make him a preteen version of one. He has his own posse of girlfriends who follow him everywhere.
  • Divorce Is Temporary: What Koichi very much believes, hence his attempts to reunite his parents, by magic if needs be.
  • Hot Librarian: One of Koichi's friends has a crush on their school librarian. Then he decides that their school nurse is pretty hot too.
  • Multigenerational Household: Koichi lives with his mother and maternal grandparents.
  • Playing Cyrano: Played with. When Ryu calls his older brother, one of his girlfriends feeds him the lines he's supposed to say, written on her notebook.
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  • Shout-Out: While Koichi and his friends are waiting at the train crossing, an old lady who was on the other side of the tracks seems to disappear while the train roars past. Koichi asks, "Taimusurippu?"

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