14-year-old Sumida wants an ordinary life, but with a father who only turns up to hit him and take money, and a mother who barely notices that he is there, his dreams of ordinariness are thwarted. He is helped by a group of businessmen who were left homeless after the tsunami and live in shacks by his house, and Keiko, a classmate who is love with him and stalks him with all her might.
Himizu is the film with the largest amount of shouting, falling over the in the mud, stabbing, punching and screaming for the festival – and if it isn’t, I want to see what beats it. It has that wonderful combination of crazy and kooky characters and humourous scenes mixed up with a sad and desperate situation and lots of violence. All of this is shown over the backdrop of the tsunami and the havoc and destruction left in its wake.
I did, however, feel that there was too many stories being told, and by the end, not everything felt resolved. A key example is that of Keiko’s horrible parents, who we see several times being quite nasty to her, but this subplot is left hanging. It did go to explaining why Keiko was so obsessed with Sumida, but I felt that it needed to do more.