I Wish is about two young Japanese brothers whose parents are separated (or divorced, it isn’t clear) and living in different cities. The older brother, Goichi, who is 12, is more practical like his mother and lives with her and his grandparents. The younger brother, Oshiro, is jovial and carefree and lives with his equally carefree father who is intent on being a musician.
One day Goichi hears in school that when the new bullet trains pass for the first time, you can make a wish, and the wish will come true. He is doubtful at first, but then he begins to scheme how he can get to the point where the two bullet trains will pass so he can make his wish that his parents get back together a reality.
Soon, his friends are joining him as well as his brother, who lives far away, so they can each make their dreams come true. Think a Japanese version of Stand by Me, but better.
The story of the children alone is interesting, but my husband was also interested in the social aspect. This film shows how Japanese culture is changing. Divorce was not common in Japan before, but now it is much more common place.
Goichi lives on the far end of one island in Japan. That area used to be extremely localized, but now the bullet train connects them with the rest of the small island and it is easier to assimilate with the rest of the island.
Finally, the kids are allowed to roam quite freely on their adventures. I would have a panic attack if my young children set out on an adventure like these kids did, but Japan has a different culture and a safer environment. Kids traveling alone is not that uncommon.
This family friendly film (good for kids ages 12 or older), is fun to watch. On the Mom’s Plans scale, I give this film 5 stars out of 5.