Sometimes grief has to be tackled as both drama and comedy to really imitate real life. This film does a great job at portraying a group of close knit friends and their encounters as they grow up, have separate lives but always reconnect again. The elements of nostalgia intermingle as there’s one of them who shouldn’t be there. Serious moments intermingle with ridiculousness as friendships show they’re still up to tease each other in a loving but merciless manner.

Remain in Twilight (2021) is written and directed by Daigo Matsui. Six friends get together at a wedding, recounting high school stories and meeting together through the years. Yoshio Kazuki (Narita Ryo) however feels he shouldn’t be there, but his friends Fujita Kinichi (Kora Kengo), Akashi Tetsuya (Wakaba Ryuya), Tajima Taisei (Fujiwara Kisetsu), Sogawa Taku (Hamano Kenta) and Mizushima Yusaku (Metsugi Rikki) wave away the inconsistencies of events.

How seriously are Yoshio’s friends taking this? Not very, it seems but actually they’re aware that Yoshio is not with them and yet he is there. Communion with the departed is a strong theme throughout, even to the point that when the unavoidable realization comes, it does show up with much theatrics and drama. It’s funny and sad all at once and that balance is hard to achieve. Sometimes I found myself wanting a little more sadness out of the situation but the group of friends would rather not take it so seriously. And yet, that seriousness does have sadness in it.

Strongly recommended as a dramatic comedy that deals with grief and personal loss. It never lets itself go too deep, and yet all the lightness does expose some sadness. Don’t expect outright hilarious moments, although there’s a silly dance teased throughout the entire storytelling that you won’t get to see unless you stick it out till the end. Sometimes sad, sometimes silly and yet full of human nuance, this one is a definite watch if you’re willing.

That will do for now.