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The Goldfish: Dreaming of the Sea

Umibe no Kingyo
2021 / 77m - Japan
The Goldfish: Dreaming of the Sea poster

A decent but somewhat complacent Japanese drama. Copying Koreeda seems to be the easiest way to score points on the international scene for a Japanese director, but that's easier said than done. Ogawa delivers a solid drama, but keeps things a little too safe and predictable.

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Hana is a high school girl who grew up in a foster home. She's the oldest there and helps to take care of the other kids. When Harumi is brought in, she immediately connects to the girl and takes her under her wing. Hana is just a kid though and her past has left her scarred, even so she tries to make the best of the situation she was put in.

Performances are solid and there are a few standout moments (namely the ones on the beach). The styling is a bit too pedestrian though and while the relationship between the two girls is delicate, it all felt a bit too familiar. Ogawa shows promise, but The Goldfish fails to stand out from its (many) peers.