Toshio (Kanji Furutachi) lives above the small workshop that he owns with his wife, Akie (Mariko Tsutsui) and his daughter, Hotaru (Momone Shinokawa). When Toshio invites Yasaka (an eerily intense Tadanobu Asano) to come and live with his family, it does not appear to be out of friendship or goodwill. Akie and Hotaru are wary of the new lodger, but with his persistent charm and goodwill, Yasaka befriends Akie and begins teaching Hotaru to play the harmonium, and thus the family's fragile domestic bliss is forever altered.
A dark tale of family life
- Harmonium review by AM
This does not make for cheery viewing, though there were several moments in the first half of the film when I snorted with laughter.
The premise, of a family's quiet harmony being disturbed when an outsider arrives, is not new, but this slowly drip feeds a dark back story to develop a brooding menace. By the halfway point of the film it is clear there can be no happy ending. It's a well made, well acted piece, but definitely not a first date movie!
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Melodramatic long psychological thriller
- Harmonium review by JR
The film genre is psychological thriller. But with big problems. The bad guy is flagged up from the beginning and I predicted the outcome within the first 15 minutes. The plot is full of holes and contrived coincidences, and as the film went on (it goes on for about 2 hours), it descended more and more into mawkish melodrama.