A Living Promise (2016)

  |  Drama

A Living Promise (2016) Poster

After receiving news about the death of his estranged friend, a workaholic IT company executive heads to his hometown to fulfill a promise he made.


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11 July 2016 | MovieIQTest
Too sentimentally pretentious Japanese style
In this film, we met a dead person who was glorified as a near-saint like guy who died from liver cancer. We got a vaguely created daughter who called her father as "That Guy". We also got a guy who was once the best friend of that dead guy who was forced out by this guy from the company they have founded together after they graduated from the college. They were best friends but later grew apart when the philosophy of how to manage the culture of the company they created together became so day-and-night different; the current CEO was me-first, self-centered and heartless ambitious, while the dead guy was with a more considerate, gentler and kinder heart.

The settings of this film is great and beautiful between the modern Tokyo and the town on the seaside with poor and dying economical situation. What we got is something too Japanese that the westerners would never be possible to understand. A symbol of unity, a dying Japanese tradition. A corporate culture of heartless growing bigger is more important than the Japanese tradition that put people first in front the profit.

This film in someway is very pretentious still, those fishermen, including those young women going out to the sea on daily basis still looking too white without any sunburn darker skin color, except the headstrong forty something traditional guy who was once wanted to become a chef in Tokyo; the only guy who looked more like a guy who spent every day of his life on the sea with darker skin color all over. A fishing township full of city-living white faced residents.

The story of this film is nonetheless slow going, the only fast moving thing in it is the coming and going Bullet train. A story outrageously pretentious and overly sentimental. The so-called "A Promise of Life" simply feels so lame and so unnaturally forced. But this film somehow not failed since it gives you a feeling that it was seriously produced, directed and performed by some famous old and younger generations of the Japanese actors, actors who indeed tried very hard to give the impression of genuine involvement in a story exaggerated too much on the purity of human heart and the heartless of merchants, not just in Tokyo but also in those towns on the Japanese seaside.

Watchable but not really touched or moved you too much and too deep. But if you look back to what the Japanese movie industries deteriorated under the imbecile influences by the anime and video games both have fatally ruined the once great Japanese movies with great actors, this film is still a marginally welcome of true movie that should be.

Something also bothered me a lot during the viewing: Why Japanese males still chain-smoking so much? And, did you notice that Nissan got a sedan model in Japan called "Fuga 350GT"? Did you notice how beautiful and rich of its paint job? Definitely not like what we got here in America. Guess that known secret is absolutely true: Best products only made locally in Japan and stay in Japan, 2nd quality ones are made on foreign soils such as in USA or EU, same brands and same models, sometimes with different names, they were manufactured locally instead of exported from Japan, these 2nd-rate products such as cars and other electronic items are for North America and EU only, but the worst, missing lot of critical parts, safety devices and functions ones are made in China and only for the pathetic Chinese and the other 3rd world countries.

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Plot Summary




Release Date:

9 January 2016



Country of Origin


Filming Locations

Toyama, Japan

Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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