This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Brigum’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
This film is a favorite of a good friend of mine and has been one that I've been meaning to watch for a while. I have also been meaning to watch a film directed by Shunji Iwai for quite some time as well. I'm glad that I finally got around to doing so but I have to admit this film is nothing like I expected it to be. It's very beautiful but also very raw and admittedly different from anything I've ever seen. It is the story of middle school to high school-aged kids growing up while Yuichi is obsessed with the musical artist Lily Chou-Chou who he believes to be larger than life itself with her existing in the Ether. This film does a good job of showing how obsessive kids can get with things and treating it like it's the only thing that matters even to an unhealthy degree. It also shows how mean children this age can be for reasons that sometimes are hard to figure out exactly why they do it. The first hour of this film is mostly nice and nostalgic especially the boys' trip to Okinawa and all the adventures they have there as they ogle at the female tour guides and generally have a good time. After this is when the movie changes as something in Hoshino has shifted and he makes everyone's life a living hell around him. Honestly, some of the stuff that happens in the second half of the film is hard to watch and all of this happens because of Hoshino, and for that, I hope he rots in hell