Hanachan no Misoshiru [movie review]


Based on a true story, this movie chronicles the daily life of Shingo and Chie after they get married and have a kid. Chie is diagnosed with breast cancer just before their marriage and having kids may be difficult. Despite knowing that they may never have kids together, Shingo is determined to marry Chie and take care of her. His parents are against it (mostly the mother) but watching how determined Shingo is, they bend to his will.

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After removing her breast and undergoes treatment, Chie’s condition improved. Not long after, they get a surprising news. She’s pregnant. After seeing how hopeful and happy Shingo is, Chie decides to give birth even if it may risk her life.

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Thankfully, she gives birth safely to a cute daughter but it isn’t long before they find out her cancer recurs.

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Singo decides to try an alternative approach, besides the modern medicine. So they meet someone who uses a more natural and organic method. He asks Chie to increase her body temperature to around 36 degrees, and eat traditional Japanese food every day. She needs to be careful of what she eats and one of the things he recommended is miso soup. After a while, their effort is fruitful and her cancer seems to slow down.

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Chie started a blog and records her daily life with her daughter as she teaches her daughter household chores. Shingo also starts writing about their life.

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One of the things Chie teaches her daughter is how to make miso soup.

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Even though she’s still young, Chie wants her to learn using knives. Chie’s intention is to let her daughter be more independent if anything should happen to her.

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This kid is really cute by the way.

Whenever Chie needs to be admitted for ongoing treatment, Shingo will take care of Hana and vice versa, Hana would try and cook.

I don’t think this comes as a  huge spoiler so I’m just gonna go ahead. Chie succumbs to the cancer and passes away not long after. Upon a request by her daughter, Chie stands on stage again and sings for Hana before she dies. I tried so hard not to tear up during this scene but when that choir at the back started doing their magic, tears just run down my cheek. I didn’t even have time to get Kleenex. This scene is lethal. It’s a tear-jerker.

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Kenichi Takito as Shingo is a delight to watch as he brings in the comic relief as the careless but loving husband. Ryoko Hirosue is in her usual mode imo and I was hoping more from her especially during the conflicted scenes. Kenichi ends up overshadowing her. The kid who plays Hana, I want to see more of her in the future. Though her role isn’t that challenging, she has potential. She seems very comfy alongside both Kenichi and Ryoko too. The pacing is similar to slice of life movies so there are parts where it can be very slow.

Overall, it’s a very meaningful story. The fact that it’s also based on a true story makes you realize, this is somebody’s real life. I’m not sure how accurate the accounts are, some parts may be fictional but the core itself is enough to make you stop and ponder. It’s a powerful story about love, parental love, motherhood and the strength to overcome hardship, as well coming to terms about certain things, in this case, Chie knows she may not live long and hence, preparing for the day to come.

Not a must watch unless you’re into emotional movies. I’m probably gonna give the drama version a try starring Ono Machiko, Ashida Mana and Okura Tadayoshi for comparison sake.

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