Two young boys in each
film wanting to belong to
a set family
Well, actually that`s not entirely right but I`d spoil the films I think by saying anything else. Well, two more gems under my belt from Hirokazu Kore-Eda. What a fabulous director. What great acting too from all the kids involved.
Sad story about children being swapped at birth in Like Father like Son (and wait till you hear why it happened?!!) and one of the father`s (traditionally Japanese, I think) obsession with blood-lines. Adoption of children is rare in Japan for that reason (except in the old days where a child might be adopted just to carry on teh family business and by then they`re in their teens or older and promised to a daughter in the family or just adopted without a daughter on-hand to marry). It raises the interesting question of whether you can love a child you have just found out is your own and how you are supposed to now feel about a child you realise is NOT your own after all but you see as your own.
In I wish, the children of a separated couple (one living with each parent) go about arranging to see each other with all their pals in tow while their parents are just getting on with things (well, the mother notices but is assured her charge is ok, while the father I don`t think even notices not that I am passing any judgement it`s just a bit odd!!)
I admire how independent Japanese kids seem, at least in films (but of course this is a kore-eda film, so it would be true to life) and as extra testament to what I am saying a guy I know who has kids with his Japanese wife explained that when they are very young, maybe round 3 or 4, a child`s parents might send them off to do a little errand, something simple enough but usually involving a shop purchase (not just like `bring this to your granny` kind of thing), but they will have someone they know trailing them to make sure they reach the place ok, have no trouble doing the errand, and get back ok too. After a while, they get into the habit of it I guess. Great life skills at an early age …. but slightly unnerving. This guy and his family don`t live in Japan but I think he`ll probably try that at some stage if they move to Japan. I don`t think he`d try it anywhere else but who knows. That said, about independence, most kids have no other choice as they might be keyhole kids (if that`s the right word, I`ve a feeling I`m wrong, maybe it`s latch-key) or like the – loosely based on a true-life – story in Nobody Knows, another Kore-Eda film, they might not have parents as constants in their life. Either way, I gather the majority of kids in Japan learn this skill at a young age. I wonder how it is in other countries/cultures around the world.
The two mothers in Like Father Like Son were both in that drama I liked so much called Saikou no Rikon and I`ve seen one of them in more films besides. The more uptight father I`d never seen before (very nice-looking guy) but I`m sure I`ve seen the other father in something.
Though I`m not a parent, I know that all parents worry about their kids` safety and you can`t watch their every single move and you don`t want to make your child overly paranoid about people either. The headline in the news lately about a guy in Japan threatening to kidnap a large number of schoolgirls was pretty mad. I wonder how the parents are dealing with that. It sounds like something from a really bad movie but nope (and we know that this has happened in another part of the world over the last year, and now they are planning to take boys as well, but those people are known militia (?) whereas whoever this guy – or these guys as he can`t be acting on his own – is/are who knows).