Tragic and touching by turns, Love Like the Falling Petals is a romance movie that captures the impermanence and beauty of cherry blossoms. Starring Kento Nakajima and Honoka Matsumoto in the lead roles, the movie is directed by Yoshihiro Fukagawa, who has previously helmed movies like Into The White Night and In His Chart, and it is written by Tomoko Yoshida. The producer of this movie is Kei Haruna, widely known for producing movies like Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday.
Kento Nagayama and Yuki Sakurai could be seen playing the supporting characters in this almost 2-hours-long movie. The other cast members include Shuntaro Yanagi, Yumi Wakatsuki, Jun Kaname, Hidekazu Mashima and Mitsuhiro Oikawa. It is based on the bestselling novel, Sakura no Yona Boku no Koibito, by Keisuke Uyama, published in 2017 by Shueisha.
Netflix describes the move as:
An aspiring young photographer falls in love with a vibrant hairstylist. The future stretches before them — until a twist of fate changes everything.
– Love Like the Falling Petals review does not contain spoilers –
Japan’s movie industry has been producing some of the best, heart-wrenching movies in the world for more than a decade now. Their unique sense of story-telling, impeccable cinematography and exceptional subtlety of shifting from one tone to other makes them special and worth watching; Love Like the Falling Petals is one such movie.
It follows the tragic yet heartwarming love story of Haruto, an up-and-coming photographer and Misaki, a professional hair stylist. It was love at first sight for Haruto when he comes in for a haircut at the salon where Misaki works. Little by little, they start to talk more. Haruto tries to gather the courage to ask her out and finally, thanks to a small accident that, let’s just say, involved a pair of scissors and Haruto’s earlobe, they get to go out on their first date. It was as awkward and sweet as first dates typically go and from there, their romance unfurls.
Jammed with a montage of their heart-fluttering moments, the first half of the film was warm and fluffy. The second half of the movie is absolutely heart-rending and will have you reaching for box of tissues. As the story progresses, the characters experience the conundrum of life and how it is even stranger and more devastating than they could have ever imagined. The ending will surely tug at your heartstrings.
Love Like The Falling Petals encapsulates the true essence of cherry blossoms – they are in full bloom during spring and comes to an end the next season. It is a bittersweet, slow-paced movie where the characters experience a taste of love, loss, and everything in-between.
I have been a fan of Kento Nakajima since his portrayal of a poised and charming editor in the series called, She Was Pretty, he was fairly excellent in it, but in this movie, he is simply impeccable. His acting felt extremely raw and natural. Now coming to our lead actress, Honoka Matsumoto, I haven’t seen any of her works before but she did a phenomenal job in this film, she beautifully brings out the suffering of the female protagonist and how she deals with the direction her life takes. Kento Nagayama who plays the role of Masaki’s brother was totally outstanding and highly impressive. Yuki Sakurai also did an amazing job at portraying the character she was playing.
Love Like the Falling Petals depicts the process of grief in a humane manner; utter dismay followed by excruciating pain, then anger, and finally coming to terms with a reality that feels unacceptable. Viewers can feel every single emotion; bask in the love and bemoan over agony of the characters as they navigate their way through the misfortunes of life.
It provide insights into how humans interpret life, it also reminds us how easy it is to abandon our dreams when they don’t pan out the way we have always thought they would, but it takes perseverance to chase dreams even when it gets hard. In the movie, Haruto, who has given up on his dream to become a professional photographer, is inspired by Masaki to again take up photography. The other aspect of the movie that I loved was Masaki’s relationship with her brother; the lengths he goes for her, the sacrifices he makes in the process and his unconditional love for his sister is deeply moving.
Love Like the Falling Petals : The Final Verdict
Love Like the Falling Petals will take you on an emotional roller-coaster, it is meditative and hopeful in a decidedly still-sad sort of way and leaves you feeling a little wistful. The movie will teach you to ‘just let go and let yourself be in the moment’. Between the warm feeling of falling in love and tackling tragic happenings, the movie is sad and equally beautiful. Granted, some parts could have been contrived better, but that won’t keep you from enjoying this soul-stirring story of love, pain and acceptance.
Love Like the Falling Petals is now streaming on Netflix.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.