Satoshi is a photographer who is famous for taking excellent pictures of his model friend, Shingo. Truth be told, he prefers landscape photography and feels like what he's doing is not what he wants. Nanao is a local florist who aspires to go to France. A pretty face she is, but to many people she comes across as a cold person who only focuses on her career and is afraid of commitment. These two individuals have been neighbors for years but have never met before; one only recognizes the sounds made by the other through the thin wall dividing their flats. Without even realising it, the humming of the other, the coffee grinding sound of the other, or the simple fact of knowing that the other is at home makes them feel at ease. Would they be remembered as just 'otonari' (the neighbour next door)?
In more: I liked the way the story was built up, the minor twists in between. I'll certainly be looking at more stuff from this director and screenwriter. The cuts were awesome, in my opinion, were neither too early nor too late in the scenes. It's getting kind of hard today to find directors who know to cut properly, but this one was done flawlessly.
Although I don't remember seeing many dramas or films with Okada Junichi, he felt familiar from the start. I guess though that might be due to the fact he slightly resembles Tamayama Tetsuji (Brother Beat). Still, he acted superiorly. Acting is one of those domains where you have to at least know what you're doing on a basic level, regardless of what role you play, and I think he shined in the photographer role.
Asou Kumiko deserves equal praise as a florist.
I don't think I have watched many movies that demonstrate how intricate love can be. Interactions can be held to a minimum, and yet two people can love each other much more intenstively than, say, in straightforward, open, daily relationships. During the last forty minutes or so, I was already really expecting them to meet, and was a bit disappointed they didn't really meet, nor have at least one proper face to face conversation. But I've come to terms with this, it is after all the beauty of this film: it does not need to steep down to smalltalk, introductions, excuses and so forth between the main characters. The minimalism in this form of art is captivating, personally.
Both films have a similar theme of two people who are fated to fall in love but whenever they are about to meet, they always miss each other. The motif of being so close yet so far, as well as a relaxing and artistic atmosphere is also common to both films. They are not exactly the same (one has more comedy elements while the other is more focused on sounds. Both also differ in plot), but if you have seen one and watch the other, it will definitely remind you of the other one.