(This is miles away short film review, which is a Japanese short film about the relation of real-life brothers during a funeral)
Funeral has always been a place that induces emotions among people. The same goes for miles away with its story revolving around the funeral, yet also indirectly outside of it.
It is directed and produced by by Saki Matsumoto, who is the director for the Creative Piece Production and features cast such as Shotaro Okada, Shoma Machii, Saori Kawamura, Tatsumi Ishihara and Shifumi Yamaguchi.
Without further ado, let’s go to the miles away short film review below to check out how it fares!
When a family is going through a funeral, the two estranged brothers meet up and they try to mend their relationship for the last time. Will there be a closure for them?
miles away Short Film Review
The premise is damn simple, yet it is cleverly executed. It is all about closure between the brothers who have been estranged when the older one left home to work hard for the family.
The suddenness from the subtleness, the sadness that comes from both the past and closures
I feel that the subtlety of the film is handled well. We are revealed about their childhood slowly through dialogues and memorable childhood pastimes such as throwing rocks and candies. Then it also starts to reveal about the past that caused them their relationship.
There’s a part in the middle when we truly realise what happens, and it hits kind of hard. The suddenness from the subtleness, the sadness that comes from both the past and closures. And the short film just reveals the truth which really induces that emotion which touches me quite a lot.
The idea may not be the most original, but it is directed well enough that we don’t really care about its originality. Man, this film really knows how to play with surprises that hits hard, and doing so without any excessive dramatisation.
Pacing is overall great with not much slow moments except at the important ones. Straight away, we are introduced the setting of the funeral and of the two brothers. The film does not drag one bit but it does not rush the story as well. It is jut greatly paced for us to enjoy the feeling and also the heartbreaking moment.
The visual used is very faded whitish, similar to that of a funeral, where life fades away. It’s an irony itself, that such a dark moment is filmed with a bright visual under the sunlight, instead of the commonly seen darker rainy type. But this perhaps alludes to the fact that the closure between the brothers are actually the one happy thing they finally achieve, and the visual subtly nods to that.
The two main characters are the brothers themselves. I actually like the set-up between them. The way they interact is just like an estranged brothers, but slowly the distance has become closer, and is no longer ‘miles away’. It feels natural and yet also with a sense of distance.
They are worlds apart, in age and also in personality. The older one is brighter, wiser and calmer, while the younger one is the total opposite. This contrast helps us to see the differences between them, and also makes their closure even more impactful.
The way the older brother rewards the younger one with a candy that holds the link between them, and the teaching of throwing the rock too just makes it so relatable. And thus when the truth is revealed, it hurts a bit as we are shown that those will be the last links they have.
As for the acting, I think overall the actors are doing a good job. They may not be Oscar-worthy performances, and there are some parts where the acting can seem unnatural or cringed. But the emotion they manage to induce from us is genuine and that I consider is good acting. There’s always room for improvements and I hope to see less cringe acting in certain scenes.
The soundtrack is another great point here. It is the melody that is very Japanese-esque that always manages to make you cry. It is pretty impactful and memorable as well. The melody plays at the critical important scenes that make you feel deep inside your heart. And it is not overly used too, which is another plus for me.