What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that I Wish is a 2011 Japanese film about an imaginative young boy who sees the creation of a new bullet train as a chance for himself, his brother, and his friends to make wishes, including a wish that his separated parents get back together. Although it's a beautifully filmed movie with heartfelt characters with whom parents and kids can identify, the film's pacing -- it's over two hours -- and the English subtitles taken from the spoken Japanese might make this one difficult for younger viewers and viewers looking for something more immediate and faster paced. The theme of parents and their two children going through a separation and likely divorce -- although shown in a realistic manner -- also might be difficult for some children. Still, although the sensibility and style of this movie are definitely rooted in Japanese culture, the behavior of the kids is so universal, and the quality of the movie is so undeniable, that patient viewers will be rewarded with a worthwhile, unforgettable story.
- Families can talk about the movie's Japanese roots. In what ways was the film universal, and in what ways was it uniquely Japanese? How would this movie be different if it were remade in an American (or any other country's) setting?
- What are your thoughts on subtitles in movies? Do they add to or take away from the viewing experience? Why?
- How is the issue of divorce and separation treated in this movie? Do you think it is a realistic depiction?