Aug 18, 2007|
Aren’t there times when you wish you were a child again, where everything was possible and you were free from the pressures of adult life? While it can’t turn back time, at least Into the Far Away Sky does a couple of hours escapism, and lets you reminisce about those happier times when life was a whole lot simpler.
Director Isao Yukisada (Crying Out of Love, In the Center of the World) is back doing what he does best—cooking up a heart-warming story of love, dreams and friendship. The film follows Ryunosuke (Ryunosuke Kamiki), a young boy who moves from Tokyo to a Hokkaido village, where his father, a government official, is assigned to oversee the construction of a new airport. The young newcomer soon develops a close bond with a vigorous local boy, Kohei (Yuma Sasano), and a girl who believes her dad was kidnapped by aliens, Hiharu (Suzuka Ooka). But while Ryonosuke’s friendship with his two new friends blossoms, the boy finds himself siding with the local villagers and in turn coming into conflict with his own father over his attempts to push the plans for the airport forward. There then follows a coming-of-age story that is filled with quirky characters, humor and hope.
The plot is fairly predictable (though there’s one little twist at the end) and, at times, the film does veer towards sentimentality. However, for the most part Into the Faraway Sky never goes too far and remains suitably heartfelt and touching. It is helped by a strong dose of optimism, and despite Ryonosuke’s fathers plans for the airport, there is no real villain in the film. The likeable child cast is supported by a variety of eccentric characters from a pigeon collector to a panty-flashing prostitute, but it’s Fumiyo Kohinata who lights up the screen as Kohei’s idiosyncratic biologist dad.
All in all, Into the Faraway Sky, might not break any new ground, nor tug quite hard enough at the heart strings, but it is worth a look if you are in the mood for a feel-good drama that offers a rosy eyed look at the innocence of childhood.