Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'Mirai' on SWITCHCast
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Wake up - Daniel dives into the monumental animated classic 'Sleeping Beauty' on a brand new episode of Ink & Paint - click to listen now!x
review, Mirai, Mirai, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Haru Kuroki, Moka Kamishiraishi, Gen Hoshino, Kôji Yakusho, Kumiko Asô, Mitsuo Yoshihara, Yoshiko Miyazaki, Mamoru Hosoda, Adventure, Animation, Anime, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Supernatural film rating

MIRAI

★★★

A MAGICAL JOURNEY THROUGH CHILDHOOD

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
21st June 2018

The first Japanese animated feature to have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, ‘Mirai’ is the latest work from Mamura Hosoda, the critically-acclaimed director of anime films such as ‘The Girl Who Leapt Through Time’, ‘Summer Wars’, ‘Wolf Children’, and ‘The Boy and the Beast’.

Kun is a pampered 4-year-old boy (voiced by Moka Kamishiraishi) whose world is rocked when his mother (Kumiko Aso) and father (Gen Hoshino) bring home his baby sister, Mirai. When the baby replaces her brother as the centre of attention, Kun can't bring himself to accept her as his sister. Not only that, but his mother is exhausted and his father isn't able to keep up with the housework, leaving Kun to feel neglected.

One day, in a huff, Kun comes across a magical garden where the family dog has been transformed into a shady-looking human. Soon, he meets a teenage Mirai (voiced by Haru Kuroki) who has travelled back in time to visit him. Their adventures, as Kun jumps backwards and forwards through history, visiting key figures from his family tree, change how the young boy sees the world and helps him to grow into the big brother he was meant to be.

'MIRAI' TRAILER

The word "Mirai" means the same thing as "future" in Japanese (weirdly, it makes the Japanese title, ‘Mirai no Mirai’, literally translate to ‘Future of the Future’) and the film returns to the time-bending of ‘The Girl Who Leapt Through Time’, but with a focus on Kun’s family. Is the garden magical? Does Kun actually meet his dog in human form, Mirai and himself from the future, his serious mother as a mischievous child, his deceased great-grandfather as a young man in post-WWII Japan and get lost in a ghostly train station? Or was it all just his fantasy to cope with the situation? Hosoda never spells it out for his audience and, honestly, it never needs any extra explanation. ‘Mirai’ also explores the emotional truths of growing up via the storytelling trickery of the fantasy and sci-fi genres (similar to ‘The Boy and the Beast’, ‘Wolf Children’, and ‘Summer Wars’).

‘Mirai’ is a beautifully designed film (featuring a lovely score from Masakatsu Takagi). Kun’s home is a narrow, distinctive building, designed by his architect father, hemmed in by larger, more traditional houses. The modern design of the house heightens the impact of Kun’s sudden trips backwards in time to a coastal village in the 1940s and other realistically detailed locations.

My personal highlight occurred when Kun became lost in a nightmarish Tokyo train station - sitting at the back of the cinema, I could see parents in the audience squirming uncomfortably in unison to console their children over this potentially scary set piece (note: it isn't that scary).

Screened at Sydney Film Festival, many of the laughs were drawn by the expressively animated faces of the characters, like Kun, whose toothy mouth splits into huge grins or grimaces whether happy or mid-tantrum, or the family dog, Yukko, whose facial features vary from playful to aloof. My personal highlight occurred when Kun became lost in a nightmarish Tokyo train station - sitting at the back of the cinema, I could see parents in the audience squirming uncomfortably in unison to console their children over this potentially scary set piece (note: it isn't that scary).

On the downside, ‘Mirai’ has an episodic, almost plotless storyline, taking place almost entirely inside a single house and mainly focusing on the simple journey of a child finding his place in the world - credited as scriptwriter and for the original story, Hosoda has said this film draws inspiration from his own childhood, when he had a younger sister whom he was jealous of. This becomes somewhat repetitive until the next spectacularly animated sequence occurs onscreen.

Fans of Mamura Hosoda’s previous films may find his latest to be too younger-skewing and twee. However, as family entertainment, ‘Mirai’ is still a leap ahead of most other animated films in cinemas.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 23/08/2018
RUN TIME: 1h 43m
CAST: Haru Kuroki
Moka Kamishiraishi
Gen Hoshino
Kôji Yakusho
Kumiko Asô
Mitsuo Yoshihara
Yoshiko Miyazaki
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Mamoru Hosoda
PRODUCER: Yûichirô Saitô
SCORE: Masakatsu Takagi
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'Mirai' on SWITCHCast 
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
The Marksman - Liam Neeson on the run
TRENDINGWIN THE MARKSMANLiam Neeson on the run
High Ground - Australia's cycle of violence
TRENDINGHIGH GROUNDAustralia's cycle of violence
Music - Sia's feature debut falls flat
TRENDINGMUSICSia's feature debut falls flat
Jungle - A true story told poorly
TRENDINGJUNGLEA true story told poorly
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Summerland - Sweet and sentimental
TRENDINGSUMMERLANDSweet and sentimental
Peter Pan - Presented by National Theatre Live
TRENDINGPETER PANPresented by National Theatre Live
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
One Last Deal - A touching tale of final chances
TRENDINGONE LAST DEALA touching tale of final chances
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
Nymphomaniac - Lars, sex and cinema
TRENDINGNYMPHOMANIACLars, sex and cinema
Kuessipan - Coming of age story in an Innu community
TRENDINGKUESSIPANComing of age story in an Innu community
Promising Young Woman - Nice guys no more
TRENDINGPROMISING YOUNG WOMANNice guys no more
Ammonite - Francis Lee delivers another beautiful portrait of love and longing
TRENDINGAMMONITEFrancis Lee delivers another beautiful portrait of love and longing
Dirt Music - A typically flawed Tim Winton adaptation
TRENDINGDIRT MUSICA typically flawed Tim Winton adaptation
Another Round - What a beautiful, beautiful ride
TRENDINGANOTHER ROUNDWhat a beautiful, beautiful ride
Event Horizon - Revisiting the sci-fi horror cult classic
TRENDINGEVENT HORIZONRevisiting the sci-fi horror cult classic
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!