The Kirishima Thing
The complexities of high school set the stage for this unconventional drama set in modern Japan. Through multiple perspectives, teens find themselves affected by a missing classmate, who’s central to the story but never seen. The Kirishima Thing goes about investigating his mysterious disappearance.
The ensemble film begins on a Friday with jocks, (Motoki Ochiai, Koudai Asaka and Higashide), popular girls (Mizuki Yamamoto and Mayu Matsuoka), film nerds Maeda (Ryunosuke Kamiki and Tomoya Maeno), and a band-geek (Suzuka Ohgo) finishing classes, heading to after-school clubs when news of Kirishima’s disappearance spreads.
Daihachi Yoshida and Kohei Kiyasu’s screenplay, based on Ryo Asai’s novel Kirishima, Bukatsu Yamerutteyo, not only captures teenage pressures, but we see them discovering friendship, love, and betrayal. The cast is uniformly authentic but Higashide’s performance as the withdrawn Hiroki shines. With technical precision and narrative precision, director and co-writer Yoshida, assembles all perspectives to form a non-linear puzzle where the central piece remaining elusive. We quickly adjust to his abrupt use of title cards identifying Friday, as the film continually restarts. The script and editing regrettably become gimmicky by Tuesday’s pivotal climax, which has Friday’s characters all reunite.
A worthwhile discovery at this year’s festival, The Kirishima Thing sheds light on an event that could take place anywhere in any high school. (Eric Marchen)
Wednesday, November 6th, Jackman Hall AGO, 8:30pm