Be Sure To Share – Review

by Miguel Douglas


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Shiro’s struggle with his father’s cancer and impending death leads to a realization that he must communicate his love and admiration for him before it’s too late. A series of flashbacks reveals their relationship over time, and the trouble Shiro faced connecting to his strict father who was also his teacher and soccer coach. With a consuming secret of his own, Shiro, now in his late twenties and about to get engaged, must eventually learn how to share the pain of it with his loved ones.

Coming off from directing the four-hour cinematic extravaganza known as Love Exposure, director Sion Sono has returned with his latest film, Be Sure To Share. While never one to be considered to show restraint within his films, Sono’s latest outing presents a very small and personal tale, which might come as a surprise to many viewers accustomed to his previous films. It’s interesting to note that while he may be known throughout as a director who takes risks, he is also known to have considerable talent in the realm of poetry, which from all cases lends a sensible direction towards Be Sure To Share. The diversity of Sono as a director is expertly showcased here, and the delicate and meditative plot explores the emotional connections we face concerning life, death, and the time we share with one another.

Given the heavy handed material displayed, Be Sure To Share is a melodrama that gives rise to question our role within family and how the time we spend together is important, no matter how small or insignificant it might seem from the exterior. Like the title of the film itself, we see throughout the film the intricate detailing of sharing time amongst one another, more particularly the time-shared between Shiro and his father Tetsuji, but also of other characters as well. The film effectively interweaves between showing the past and present and how different contextual meanings, when applied, can rearrange our emotional stance on how we view a particular scene or action. This is very much elaborated upon with both Shiro and Tetsuji when we slowly discover their precarious relationship through a series of flashbacks. These segments sporadically showcased throughout the film reinforce the familial bond between the two, as well as the notion of separation and death.

But with the relationship between the two being the primary focus of the film, Be Sure To Share slowly expands its outlook to explore the importance of interaction and sharing time with one another through various actions. Whether that be time eating with family, taking a walk with a significant other, or even fishing, the film promotes an ideal that we must cherish moments like these—mainly because we might never have the opportunity to fully share them with the people we care for again. The unexpected nature of life is a driving force within the film, and Sono is careful to not allow this philosophy to become to overly sentimental in its presentation. Be Sure To Share is a very reserved film for sure, but its important to acknowledge that like the plot in the film, life isn’t always filled with adventure. From the daily moments of Shiro jogging to work, to the quiet moments shared between him and his girlfriend, the film delegates that moments like these are not wasteful or inconsiderate. When Shiro is struck with an illness like his father, time suddenly slows down for him, and the small moments become increasingly bigger as he grapples with acceptance, regret, and promise. This is further leveraged throughout by displaying various forms of acceptance through the actions of other characters within the film, each appropriately applying their own situational stance towards a common reconciliation—which makes for some surprisingly emotional moments within the film.

Ultimately, Be Sure To Share is a film that diligently attempts to explore material that is often difficult to handle in other films due to its nature. Surprisingly, the film portrays suffering, regret, promise, and eventual acceptance in way that is very realistic—and without allowing its story to become diminished and overshadowed by any of these thematic elements. The multitude of emotions is abounding, but that’s what makes it all the more emotionally investing given the structure of the story. It’s perhaps a film that many fans of Sono’s previous works might find difficult to digest, but it ultimately showcases the versatility he has as a director to handle such diverse subjects in a fair and utterly respectful manner. And while it’s a film that might not be remembered as much as his previous films, it will certainly remain one of his most accomplished and personal film’s to date because of these reasons.


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Author: Miguel Douglas

As an avid viewer of both Japanese animation and cinema for more than a decade now, Miguel is primarily concerned with establishing a critical look into both mediums as legitimate forms of artistic, cultural, and societal understanding. Never one to simply look at a film or series based solely on superficiality, Miguel has dedicated himself towards bringing awareness to Asian entertainment and its various facets.

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