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REVIEW - Reckoning (Yasunori Tanaka).

Scored 4/10 by MegaFlix Film Awards

By MegaFlix Film AwardsPublished about a year ago 2 min read
Reckoning (2021) Official Poster

This short coming-of-age film directed by Yasunori Tanaka (Life is EL) and produced by Nile Productions focuses on a young girl and her relationship with her father, and the anxieties and fears she has about success at school, career prospects and making her father proud.

Viewers are introduced to the protagonist, Tippy, a young woman who has recently dropped out of medical school, played by Yuko Kudo (Human Nature, In Silence, Perception, The Real Page Turner). In the opening scenes we meet Tippy’s friends, Sandy played by Salimah Abdul-Baatin (The Many Break-Ups of Lincoln Rose) and Leslie played by Lia Fietz (Cut Ice, Bedtime Stories, Resurrection Mary) forming a diverse and likeable trio of characters, who sadly don’t feature at all beyond this introduction, which is a shame as they all feature prominently in the opening and start the film with an atmosphere of levity and the emergent sense this film could be a coming-of-age teen adventure, and then as almost as quickly as we meet them, Sandy and Leslie disappear for the rest of the film. That said, these characters and their dialogue serve as an essential mechanism for the viewers to learn more about Tippy and the plot direction for the rest of the film, and it is here we learn of what is troubling her.

The three girls are discussing Tippy’s recent change of heart about studying medicine, and having already dropped out of medical school, she now has to face the reality of telling her father this news, and is obviously worried about how he’ll react.

The problem Tippy is faced with is one which will likely resonate with many people, especially younger viewers, as choosing a career path and pleasing one’s parents do not always go hand-in-hand, and can leave individuals who experience similar situations feeling stuck between a rock and a hard place. Ultimately this film has an uplifting message and tells us that the pressure we may feel about pleasing our parents, living up to expectations, and making them proud, can be curtailed by honest conversation where one may find that the will of a father for his child to find happiness is far greater.

The performances are fair across the board, with Yuko Kudo delivering the strongest screen presence. There are parts of the dialogue which feel somewhat wooden in parts, and the lack of a soundtrack in places is notable. The subtitling during the scenes with Japanese dialogue is clear and easy to follow, and the use of humour within the dialogue is endearing.

Overall a pleasant short film, with a decent message for school and college leavers, seemingly constrained by budget and lacking a big ‘wow factor’, but commendable nonetheless. This film may find its place among viewers of a younger age who may be considering their own academic and vocational paths in the face of parental pressure, as well as the parents of teenagers and young adults. It may also be enjoyed by those who work with younger people facing these pressures such as school and college teachers, and careers guidance counsellors, but may struggle to find a broader appeal.



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