Kujou and Aoki are friends who go to an all boys high school called Asahi High, which mostly teenagers with not so bright futures visit, leading to delinquency. Observing how one of the teachers is daily caring for his flowers, Kujou, Aoki and a friend pay him a visit and so the teacher asks them if they want to plant a flower each of them and take care of them till they bloom. They agree, and plant one for each wondering whether they'd bloom or not. Will they bloom?
This is a story about high school anarchy. It's the students the ones setting the rules while hallways are covered in black graffiti. Family life is never seen. Education and career prospects are non-existent.
This movie portrays a generation of 'don't-mess-with-me' kids, both in style and personality, and it certainly has attitude. Stories are told, characters are established and relationships are made clear. The director clearly knew the stuff he was working with, but the cast was a crucial thing to me. In a film like this, if the actors lack the ability and the presence to portray the roughness of the characters (plus their humanity) the director wouldn't be able to save the thing by himself. But despite their young age, and with Matsuda Ryuuhei's magnetic performance in front, the kids are completely convincing. Without showing the slightest effort, Ryuuhei commands every scene he's in with his boyish masculinity, confidence, charisma and presence. He's absolutely fascinating.
Although this movie is filled with fights, deaths and murder, I think the violence is kept subtly but resolutely off-screen. Also, I think is not a violent film for the sake of being a violent film; its characters are too well rounded and it has touches of dreamlike beauty too poetic. Not a pretentious bloodbath at all. It is actually a rather deep and dramatic exploration into the search for meaning in an environment full of despair, and what's more: it has a message of hope that provides a meaningful lesson to the audience.
I know there are many movies that involve high school violence, but there are not that many that actually have something to say to the audience. That's what I absolutely love about Aoi Haru.