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Film Review: I'm Here

"I'm Here" is a Japanese short drama-fantasy film, created by first-time director Ryuji Kamiya. This indie film tells the story of Ryo, a young man fed up with living in a big city, who meets a mysterious girl in his hometown. This meeting helps him remember the dream he had forgotten.

With elements of a fantasy film and a unique structure, writer-director Ryuji Kamiya jumps between present day to events that happened in the past few years and affected Ryo Hayakawa's life. Yudai Tsuruta who plays the lead role of Ryo is simply fantastic and perfectly fits the atmosphere in the film. He starts hearing voices in his mind, that suddenly turn into a frightening (and painful) reality. The stress at work, which is accompanied by his colleague's unsuitable behavior toward a young model, makes Ryo take the first train to his hometown, where he meets the girl.

Their first interaction near the train is pretty funny. The young girl, who is not willing to say who she is, threatens him to go with her, or else… she screams! Then, a series of scenes build up their relationship, until she reminds him of his childhood dream.

The flashbacks to Ryo's childhood lead to the inspiring message of the film- we should never give up on our childhood dreams, it's never too late to become who we really want to be in life. The closure with Ryo's family was both impressive and touching, and the twist at the end made us tear. Ryuji Kamiya creates a beautiful, emotional story with a big heart and an important message. Long live independent filmmaking!

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