A stunningly gorgeous film touching on relatable depictions of love, loss, and the course of time, in achingly earnest yet maturely understated ways.
The dialogue is well-written and understated to the extent it feels fitting both of the ages of the characters, and of the realism the film is striving for. The score, mostly on piano, is pleasant without being overbearing. The star of the show is the visuals. I feel you could pause on any frame of the film and look upon what could a gorgeous piece in its own right.
The film refrains from getting too on-the-nose with what it’s saying about relationships, love, youth, and the course of time, but the situations and interactions within are so earnest, relatable, and real, that it doesn’t have to.
The great flaw of the film is the terrible, grating, pop song at the end that undercuts so much of what was brilliant about what came before. Gone is all the subtlety, as the singer quite literally explains the thematic points of the story over a montage of clips. It’s ridiculously didactic, childish, and melodramatic. It truly soured my whole experience with the film. If you just chopped out that infernal song, the film would work so much better.
Still, the triumphs of the film are so sound that even an ending that poor can’t truly undo them. The gorgeous visuals, the restrained writing, the relatable thematics, it’s all excellently done. If only they left it there. I give it three and a half cherry blossoms, and a letter in the wind.