25 February 2020 | larrys3
Well Presented Drama With an Ambiguous Ending
Chen Liang (Yulai Lu) is a young illegal immigrant in Japan, who has come over from his native China looking for a better life. When he realizes how difficult it is to obtain gainful employment, he pays for a new ID and becomes Liu Wei.
He's eventually hired at a soba restaurant by the shop's owner Hiroshi (Tatsuya Fuji) who is a master soba chef and willing to teach the young man the intricacies of preparing soba, while Chen will perform other functions as well,like deliveries and working to clear tables etc.
Chen begins to blend in smoothly with his Japanese environment, even meeting a female friend Hazuki (Akasaka Sayo) on a delivery, who's an artist and ironically looking to go to Beijing to further her studies.
But Chen's pretense of who he really is begins to shatter when he loses his wallet at a dance club and runs away rather than face the police, where Hazuki goes to report it. Soon, the authorities will begin to close in and Chen and Hiroshi will both have to make decisions for their futures.
This a quiet film for the most part with solid acting all around, and marks an excellent feature debut for Japanese filmmaker Kei Chikaura. My one criticism would be the movie's ambiguous ending.