Mirai (Dubbed) (PG)



Drama (2018)
98mins Jpn

Starring: Rebecca Hall, Daniel Dae Kim, John Cho
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Writer(s): Mamoru Hosoda
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Four-year-old Kun happily plays with a toy train set in the modernist home designed by his architect father. Grandmother looks after the tyke while his mother gives birth to a daughter, who is eventually named Mirai. Brotherly love warps as Mirai monopolises the parents' attention and the boy lashes out by hitting his baby sister with a model bullet train. Tempers fray and a distraught Kun runs into the garden where he is greeted by a dishevelled prince.

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LondonNet Film Review
Mirai (PG)

A four-year-old boy learns touching lessons about sharing his parents' love with a newly arrived baby sister in Japanese writer-director Mamoru Hosoda's poignant animated drama. Mirai is an enchanting portrait of modern family life rooted in universal truths about the jealousy which bubbles beneath the surface of almost every sibling bond. I (regretfully) recognised some of the lead character's frustrations and simmering resentment from my own formative years with a boisterous younger brother, who advocated being seen and heard from an early age...

Mirai. Copyright: National Amusements. Caption: Kun (voiced by Moka Kamishiraishi) and his father (Gen Hoshino), directed by Mamoru Hosoda. All Rights Reserved.Hosoda navigates choppy emotional waters with a deft touch, unearthing compassion and flecks of gentle humour in characters' confusion and distress. His script introduces fantastical flourishes to shepherd the inquisitive infant protagonist on a journey of self-realisation, enriched with gorgeous hand-drawn animation. The four-year-old's first encounter with falling snowflakes is beguiling but Mirai withholds its piece de resistance until the final act when the boy is rendered speechless by the bustle and bright lights of Tokyo train station. Wonderment is punctuated by slapstick. Sweat-drenched characters cram into impossibly tight spaces to avoid detection and then attempt to pluck a misplaced doll's accessory off the seat of a father's trousers without arousing the parent's suspicion.

Kun (voiced by Moka Kamishiraishi) happily plays with a toy train set in the modernist home designed by his architect father (Gen Hoshino), which the boy shares with the family's yapping pet dog, Yukko. Grandmother (Yoshiko Miyazaki) looks after the tyke while his mother (Kumiko Aso) gives birth to a daughter, who is eventually named Mirai. "Be nice to her, okay?" mother instructs Kun. "You have to protect her." Brotherly love warps as Mirai monopolises the parents' attention and the boy lashes out by hitting his baby sister with a model bullet train. Tempers fray and a distraught Kun runs into the garden where he is greeted by a dishevelled nobleman (Mitsuo Yoshihara), who tells the little boy that he was "the prince of this house before you were born." We realise this is an anthropomorphic manifestation of Yukko. On subsequent visits to the garden, Kun encounters a teenage future incarnation of Mirai (Haru Kuroki) and a younger version of his recently deceased grandfather (Koji Yakusho). These visitations help Kun to appreciate his little sister and the role he will play in nurturing her.

Inspired by the filmmaker's experiences with his children, Mirai glimpses a confusing world through Kun's eyes with tenderness and warmth. The narrative is slight, even for a sprightly 98 minutes, but the film doesn't outstay its welcome or surrender any of its delicate charm. As well as the subtitled version of Mirai, a family-friendly English-language dub screens at selected cinemas from November 4 featuring vocal performances by John Cho, Rebecca Hall and Daniel Dae Kim.

- Sam Cannon

Mirai. Copyright: National Amusements. Caption: Kun (voiced by Moka Kamishiraishi) and his father (Gen Hoshino), directed by Mamoru Hosoda. All Rights Reserved.


London Cinemas

From Friday 9th November
To Thursday 15th November

- Odeon Luxe Haymarket
From Friday 16th November
To Thursday 22nd November

- ICA Cinema


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Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

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From Friday 9th November
To Thursday 15th November

Not showing at any
UK cinemas this week.
From Friday 16th November
To Thursday 22nd November

- Exeter, Exeter Phoenix


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