Diogo Serafim’s review published on Letterboxd:
Words like wheels, a film centered on the idea of movement, with the deep faith that speech may set the world in motion beyond our grief and suffering. Driving a car with a dead loved one’s words within the ever-changing landscapes. Hamaguchi’s concerns with dialogue, performance and theater are all here in a more naked, direct approach and Murakami’s original text is felt through the very masochistic, mournful atmosphere. Kirishima’s voice is absolutely haunting and justifies all the weight given to sound in this film, while also making the silence, equally essential, particularly more stinging.
On a side note, not entirely relatable: I once met a swedish girl in Hiroshima whose name I forgot, and we spent some hours together. It was rare to find someone who spoke english in Japan, so we talked a lot, and I remember she smiled very frequently. We only stood silent during our visit to the museum, a deeply mournful place that seems plagued by inertia, and I went my way without saying her goodbye properly. I wish I could have resisted, and that I stood the rest of the afternoon with her. Silence has this power to replay the same tape over and over, making it hard to move forward, so one must endure, speak and perform and live. I hope she still smiles, wherever she is.