Be Sure to Share ちゃんと伝え (Chanto tsutaeru) [2009] • Japan

"I love you, man".

Sion Sono has made some strange films. This is not one of them unless you consider it strange for him to make such a normal film. Be Sure to Share is a small, simple, and sentimental film, not typically Sono-esque. There's no blood and there's no running around with a handheld camera. There's plenty of emotional desperation but it's of the uplifting kind. The film is about a twenty-seven year old young man who wants to find a moment of bonding, a way of saying thank you, "I love you, man" to his dying father. The title says it all. It's not too mushy, though. The film works because of it's simplicity. There is the big scene that sort of stretches credulity but we could see it coming and Sono follows it up with one of the more hilarious uses of the line "didn't see that one coming" I've ever heard. It's off-camera and sort of eavesdropped upon and it made me laugh out loud.

The film is beautifully cast. Everyone is lovable. Idol-boy Akira does a very credible job playing a normal guy who all of a sudden must deal with mortality, in more ways than one. Ayumi Ito is adorable as his girlfriend and has one of the best crying scenes I've seen in a film. Keiko Takahash is pure mom incarnate, an immaculate performance. Eiji Okuda is good as the father when he's lovable and nice but he also has to play the predictably strict father who's tough to love, in flashbacks, so we get a sense of whatever it is that that film cliché gives us. That's the only weak part of the film but it's not enough to spoil it.

Director: Sion Sono
Starring: Akira, Eiji Okuda, Shogo Ueno, Ayumi Ito, Keiko Takahash



  1. This movie tries to manipulate the viewer, but it's really subtle because the manipulation is hidden behind the "honesty" of the story. Or something like that xD

  2. Great comment ... because it's so twisted and poetic. Usually "manipulation" and "honesty" don't work as a team, but your observation is a compelling one. I think Sono wanted to make a sentimental film and, by extension, make the viewer share in it. I was only a little suspicious of his characterization of the father, who is also an athletic coach. Kind of cheap, but it didn't bother me enough to spoil the film.

    You'll see me write this a lot: Great films succeed in spite of their weaknesses.