Directed by Izumi Funasaki
Do you come across anyone who is not just a friend but has helped you reinventing yourself? You might be nodding in support or opposite but get ready to experience an emotional tale of two souls breaking and rising their way out in this outstanding short movie.
It’s a simple story of junior high school friendship that the director Izumi Funasaki has presented based on her own experience. Teenage days is quite a complex phase that we all eagerly wait to arrive and tastes the very good and worst of it. Some experiences mature us early and some make a lasting impression for a lifetime, which you will realize and feel in one such crucial scene that helped the lead protagonists to break their barriers.
In the introductory scene, we see a nervous and very cautious Mikage who strives to find solace in her school’s infirmary than attending her classes. At the very first glance, I felt that there is a Mikage in most of us, always investing effort to impress our parents and irrelevant others ignoring their inner call. We see this extremely introverted teenager being comfortable in her cocoon out of an unknown fear.
Amid all this confusion and conflict, the director presents to the audience a gush of freshness gleaming with life named Natsuna, a girl staying in the same infirmary. Natsuna’s peek-a-boo greetings from under the quilt not only bring an instant smile on Mikage’s face but also on ours as well.
Cutting to the next scene, we see how these two teenagers are bonding over their indifferences. Yes, that is the soul of this short movie. We see Natsuna as a positive force in the room who is trying to comfort Mikage to come out of her shell. During their conversation, Mikage appears broken who is a bit cautious and is an obedient child to her parents. Natsuna believes in following and living her own dreams.
Interestingly, both the characters are quite contradicting based on their approach to life but share a common interest of ignoring their academic. Here we see Natsuna expressing her delight in this budding friendship through a comic representation which she named after the movie “Run Through the Night”.
While watching you will feel that we all need a Natsuna in our life, a driving force that assists us in breaking the shackles of societal norms. The load of expectations, the fears of failing are constant in Mikage’s life which is not allowing her to live freely. Honestly speaking, Mikage’s mindset is similar to most of us who willful devote their life to others and in the struggle to fit everywhere they failed miserably.
Though both the lead characters are pole apart but Natsuna plays effortlessly to be Mikage’s guardian angel. I felt it has been easier for the director to choose this title for the movie as she has also penned this beautiful script. Both Natsuna and Mikage have their own share of struggles but it’s a treat to see how they perfectly complement each other to evolve as their better versions.
One such scene that proves these girls are way ahead of their age when we see how tactfully Natsuna hid the actual running time of Mikage in a practice race just to make her feel good. This particular scene also dismisses the poor mindset of Mr Takahashi’s who later in a scene seems to be bashing the girls saying they are a child in an adult body which makes them an easy prey to men.
The director has flawlessly depicted the hatch between two girls who are trying to make the world leave them to live as they want. Their ignorance of academic and more time in the infirmary is raising doubts and opinions among their peers and teachers. To get away from the chaos, we see how the girls decide to flee one night when a counselor confronts them about their whereabouts and future. Here we see how they were running through the night to live their sweet dream.
This inspiring movie deserves a 4/5, for so flawlessly weaving the emotional transition through every scene powered by a spectacular cast.