Tsuki no Michikake
2022 / 128m - Japan
Phases of the Moon poster


July 27, 2023


An interesting drama that gets a bit too sentimental. The premise is fun and this might've been a perfect match for Hiroki if it hadn't been one of his more commercial outings. Phases of the Moon is one of his crowdpleasers, and because of that, it lacks the edge that makes his work stand out.

Kei is a happy man, living a good life together with his family. That is all turned upside down when his wife and daughter die in a car accident. Kei has a hard time processing what happened, but then one day an unknown man stands on his doorstep. He has an unbelievable story to tell, that involves Kei's daughter.

The performances are a bit uneven, the drama could've been more subtle and the premise isn't used to its fullest. The styling is polished though and there are moments when Hiroki's craft shines through, it's just that he is capable of so much more. Not a bad film, just not good enough considering the talent involved.