For the love of a homeless man

“Good Morning to the World!” is a relatively short film following the life of a naïve, curious high school student.

“Good Morning to the World!” is a relatively short film following the life of a naïve, curious high school student. The introverted Yuta (Yoichiro Koizumi) contently lives a routine existence filled with school, long spring days and lots of free time. With a non-existent father and barely-present mother, Yuta has all the time in the world to strum his air guitar and fight off imaginary friends in his small, ordinary dwelling.

He records the mundane events of his life, in which all days run like those before, to his faithful tape recorder. Every morning on the way to and from school, Yuta passes a homeless man who spends his nights under a tunnel. Although he clearly avoids the man at first, Yuta becomes increasingly more interested in the life he himself could never understand. As his worldview is challenged, Yuta finds that the story of his life is unraveling.

The next day, the tunnel is a crime scene and Yuta has set his sights on discovering the truth behind what appears to have been a murder. Luckily, having seized the man’s bag the day before for curiosity reasons, Yuta is equipped with necessary but vague tools which lead him on a heroic search for a cause outside the breadth of the small, contained world that he is used to. Abandoning school, Yuta embarks on a short but enlightening quest.

Director Satoru Hirohara succeeds in creating a film that captivates the innocence of youth. It brings back long summers, where there was nothing to do but walk about and try to keep busy. Despite hormones running wild and plentiful teenage insecurities, those years were ignorant to many inevitable larger sufferings of the real world. As Yuta and his friends discuss if they will truly ever die, their fear is pushed behind a veil of youth and vitality, juxtaposing a recurring mention of one classmate’s suicide. This lingering tragedy is discussed with surreal disbelief. The illusion of immortality set forth by youth slowly erodes as Yuta furthers his quest for the truth in the death of the homeless man.

The film is beyond realism: It is 80 minutes of YouTube footage. There are about 10 scenes in the entire film, and the scenes are too long even for Kubrick’s taste. The dark scenes are too dark and the bright scenes are too bright. This cinematography is intentional, but not fulfilling. Realism can be achieved through long shots with higher resolution cameras, making for a more enjoyable experience. I am sure that many will, rightfully so, disagree with me. However, if it bothered me, it may bother the rest of you as well. With that said, the movie takes a very patient viewer.

Most importantly, the storyline is draining. Coupled with slow cinematographic style, “Good Morning to the World!” is exacting, like watching a documentary about a kid too insecure to have an interesting social life and too curious for his own good (but still not that interesting). Although the film truly does succeed nostalgically in bringing one back to carefree youth, it does as good of a job as any home video—and the latter is obviously better, since you can be the protagonist. ?