2004 / 118m - Japan
Comedy, Drama
Break Through! poster


June 04, 2020


The friction between the Japanese and Koreans living in Japan has been broadly covered in cinema already, Break Through! fits in snugly with the rest of its peers. What sets this film apart is that it aims for a more accessible mix of drama and comedy, rather than turn things into a full-blown drama.

Whether that was the right way to go remains doubtful, but the result is a pretty amusing film that does get its point across. The first part is primarily focused on comedy, with an escalating fight between two school gangs. The well-meaning but ill-advised interventions of a teacher only makes things worse, a budding romance between both sides seems the only ray of hope for a good outcome.

Things get grittier as the film progresses, but Izutsu struggles to find a nice balance. Most actors seem stuck in comedy mode and the drama suffers because of it. The cinematography and score are decent enough, but nothing too exceptional. The result is a pretty decent film, but doesn't leave too much of an impression.