“The story of a traditional Kyoto woman who runs a failing kimono business and a biracial entrepreneur who comes to help keep it solvent. Along the way, they fall in love, but his need for change clashes with her desire for the world to stay the same. In the end, can they change enough for each other?”

“Impossible to Imagine” takes a practical approach to the romance genre, in avoiding unrealistic scenarios, profound emotional turmoil, or unexpected drama. It can be said that the couple presented could be ‘anyone and everyone’ within their basic and fundamental desires. The result is a romance film that won’t really leave a lasting impact within the genre, although that is not to say that this approach is not without merit.

The production does a good job of tackling the issues of cultural clash within a relationship and the effect it can have on a couple. In avoiding over dramatization and emotional stings, each character’s plight becomes rather free of scrutiny in actions. This allows for any degree of empathy towards one character over the other to be garnered through the viewers’ personal experiences. It can be said that the primary focus of the film is societal differences, and to this degree the approach taken does an exemplary job of tackling the issue while humanizing its subjects.

On a technical level, the production is a bit of a mixed bag, as, besides forgivable budget restrictions limiting quality, the framing of characters is occasionally awkward. Meanwhile, the score is more repetitive than endearing, in sticking to traditional compositions that don’t always compliment the mood. There is also limited use of ‘special effects’, which are really mishandled and add an unintentional comedic tone. Overall, in spite of being rough around the edges, the visuals have some impressive impact, particularly in exploring the various tourist spots and shrines of Kyoto.

“Impossible to Imagine” although rough around the edges, and lacking in emotionally engaging narrative, does hold value in its sincerity and grounded approach. Felicity Tillack delivers a great script, which presents both compassion and understanding of societal divides. Tillack also manages to get great performances from her actors which mimic the sincerity of her script.

I generally equate good romance with a degree of tragedy, and given the approach of the production, my own disconnect is understandable. Ultimately, the film may be better suited towards those who have felt the pressures of their community in affecting the definition of individuality. A subject which the production tackles with deserved confidence.

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