Somewhere in the middle of this picture, I reconciled myself with theidea that I didn't need to anticipate any evolution on the plot since Iwas convinced that I was living a true experience! A story that can beshown in less than half an hour unfolds into a series of extraordinarycinema moments. Koreeda has zoomed with incredible detail into thechild condition, so much that anyone can relate and recall childhoodmemories of his/her own even if they don't resemble at all with thefilm's story.
*SPOILER* Until the very end I expected a certain catharsis, somethingthat never came. I was also left questioning: what is the role of theschoolgirl that joins the kids at the last stages of the film and whatmakes her mingle? Isn't she old enough to asses the problem and spreadthe word somewhere? But perhaps these problems are part of the film'sstrength and not weakness. The schoolgirl is an indicator that the fourkids in question are not an isolated incident. She is the helplesssociety that just follows along. She is a victim of neglect as welldespite her better standards of living. Neglect goes beyond socialstatus. Her bonding with the four kids maybe keeps her silent as shebecomes part of them. But even if she has communicated the problem toothers, is there anyone who cares? Even if things get resolved at theend, even if the authorities intervene, and even if there is a slimpossibility that these children have a better future, Koreeda insiststhat the problem remains. The film is not about answers but aboutquestions. About contemporary urban realities and that's were the focusis on.
Favorite scene: Akira taking out his little sister and showing her thetrains that pass by.
Wonderfully observant camera, superb acting, very good musical themethat is repeated throughout and great use of sounds. Poetic cinema thattriggers the heart and the mind. 9/10