Mitsuko (Riisa Naka) is a young woman who believes everything will be okay and always tries to help those around her. One day, she met an American man and wanted to help him. They became involved in a relationship and she moved with him to California. A little later, her boyfriend left her and Mitsuko returned to Japan alone. Her parents, who run a pachinko parlor, still thinks Mitsuko is living happily in California.
Now, Mitsuko is nine-months pregnant, unmarried & almost broke. She has to move out of her apartment. Yet, Mitsuko still believes everything will be okay. Mitsuko doesn’t know where she will go, but she lays down on a bench and watches where the wind blows. Mitsuko then knows where she will go. She’ll visit an elderly woman who was her parent’s landlord many years ago. Mitsuko will also see again the boy (Aoi Nakamura) that held a life-long crush on her.
As with many Japanese movies I end up watching, this is a quirky one. Mitsuko is a strong, assertive woman, but she’s also a little bit nuts. She follows the clouds and asks the wind for answers, determined to set everything straight and be “cool” (粋 / いき) before the birth of her baby.
All of the characters in this movie have a slightly cartoonish feel to them, but that is something I like about director and writer Yuya Ishii’s films. The atmosphere of Mitsuko Delivers is about as far as you could get from a Hollywood blockbuster, but it is this unique way of looking at the world that makes this film captivating and engaging, funny and touching.
This is a film about helping each other out when times are rough, and not putting yourself first even if it’s actually you that needs to be helped. Mitsuko is a leading lady to look up to in this fast-paced, curious film.
Mitsuko Delivers (ハラがコレなんで / Hara ga kore nande) will be released in the UK on 11th May, and is being shown at the ICA and other selected regional sites. For more information about the ICA screenings, click here.
(Images and quoted synopsis above courtesy of Third Window Films).
Official Japanese website: www.harakore.com.