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Pedestrian and overlong look at a year in the life of two brothers
Hiroshi Shimizu's Four Seasons of Children is a sequel to his earlier Children in the Wind with same actors in the same roles. However, the story in this movie is self-contained with no references to the earlier movie so it can be watched on its own. The two brothers Zenta and Sempei return, but this time they are living on a ranch that their father bought with money borrowed from a business run by his wife's relatives. Trouble arises when the father falls ill and can't repay the loan which causes a crisis among the extended family. The boys are mostly oblivious to the controversy and only see how the issue affects their social lives.
While pleasant enough, there is nothing particularly compelling about this movie. The kids' antics are not all that interesting and the drama surrounding the adults is simplistic and predictable. Plus, the ending is weirdly abrupt, which makes me wonder whether part of it hasn't been lost over time. Not as good as Children in the Wind (which itself was just OK) there is no reason to seek out this hard to find movie.
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