[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
• SATO Gen
• NAKAZAWA Kenta
• SAKAI Masanori
[ Cast ]
• OSHIMA Yuko HOJO Hachiko
• OKURA Koji SAKURABA Yoichi
• NOZAKI Yoshimi KUBO Michiyo
[ Staff ]
• Screenplay: TANADA Yuki
• Cinematography: OTSUKA Ryo
• Sound Recording: OGAWA Takeshi
• Editor: MIYAJIMA Ryuji
• Music: SUO Yoshikazu
[ Production Company ]
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
[ Production Studio ]
Release Date: August 29, 2015
Running Time: 97 min
Genre: Drama, Romance, Feature
Screening Format: DCP
Screening Format with Subtitles
・English (DCP, Blu-ray, HDCAMSR)
[ Story ]
Road movie about the Romance Car limited express train operated by Odakyu Railways between Shinjuku and Hakone. Director Tanada Yuki’s Mourning Recipe was an official selection at the 37th Montreal World Film Festival. Oshima Yuko plays the lead.
Hachiko (Oshima) works as a train attendant on the Romance Car and meets a suspicious passenger (Okura Koji) who claims to be a film producer. The guy happens to see a letter from her estranged mother, which leads to a sojourn to seek out her mother in Hakone.
[ Official Site ]
[ Film Festivals, Awards ]
• 2015 Shanghai International Film Festival
• 2015 JAPAN CUTS
• 2015 Camera Japan Fesitval
• 2015 BALINALE
I was interested in telling the story of people influencing each other, in which a sense of nostalgia was perceived at the same time “. These are the words of the director about his Romansu (Round Trip Heart), presented at the eighteenth edition of the Far East Film festival in Udine.
Tanada Yuki, author of other films, including the award-winning Hyakuman-en to Nigamushi Onna (One Million Yen Girl) of 2008, in this latest work focuses on the encounter between two subjects for different reasons a bit ‘in disarray. She is Hachiko, a girl who sells snacks and drinks on the “Romance Car” train towards Hakone, the mountain tourist resort from which it is possible (if you are lucky with the weather conditions) to observe Mount Fuji. The first sentence that we hear from her, as she prepares to push her trolley along the wagons, is already a manifesto: “I love trains: they leave and return without getting lost. Not like me, that I lose the way”.
The sequence that presents it shows her before her shoulders, “framed” by the entrance of the compartment, while she takes a deep breath, as if she were about to enter the scene; and immediately afterwards, perfect in the uniform and smiling. It is a beautiful “picture”, a façade, because Hachiko, it will be discovered shortly after, hides within herself the unease of a past with a mother who did not give her the affection she would have liked, due to which of heruninhibited behavior above all, she suffered the hostility of the other girls in the neighborhood. Her life is certainly not perfect and in order like her uniform.
He is a lanky guy, a B-series film producer, with a divorce and problems with his daughter. He tries to steal food from the girl’s cart, and then runs away, pursued by her.
They spend a whole day together (and even the night, after having lost themselves), in search of Hachiko’s mother, from whom the girl has recently received a heartfelt letter. In fact, it will be the way for both to confront their own past.
The strong theme is the family or rather the lack or the disintegration of the same.
And then the memory, which strongly proposes itself to condition the present, with all its unresolved nodes. It is not easy to come to terms with it, to see clearly in oneself and in one’s life, as the clouds that surround the mountain symbol par excellence suggest, Mount Fuji precisely when the two protagonists finally reach it.
The film maintains a certain rhythm even if it proceeds without particular surprises, with a calm style. The development of the characters is strongly linked to the memory of their past more than to the present in which nothing happens between them that is not functional to memory. Perhaps he would like to have an adventure with her, but Hachiko’s attitude towards the man fluctuates between the just tolerant and the hostile, and will continue to turn to him calling him “old man”, nickname that does not leave presage, even for the way always a bit ‘to the limit of the contemptuous with which the girl uses it, a possible romantic turn. The tone remains light, comedy and in my opinion, given the many facets of the two characters, with the potential with which they are set from the beginning (both wear the signs of deep wounds, abandonment and disillusionment), perhaps it could have done more.