Director: Kenji Yamauchi
Kenji Yamauchi's fourth feature film, Dawning on Us, is definitely a film made during the COVID pandemic, as it is directly addressed and incorporated throughout the film's dialogues and even in a key scene near the end. You are reminded throughout that this is a product of our times and it feels very relevant and relatable in that sense.
Once again, like with At the Terrace, what we get
here is a filmic stage play essentially. Very sparse in terms of location and
with film techniques on display, but that is by no means a slight against the
film as it is directed quite beautifully and is effective emotionally from start
to finish. The play-inspired feel makes sense as Yamauchi has a background in theater.
His dialogue here is natural and provides just the right amount of snap to give
us plenty to chew on as the drama, and perfectly timed dry humor, plays out