Love Like the Falling Petals is a Japanese romantic, emotional drama movie that landed on Netflix on March 24, 2022. Directed by Yoshihiro Fukagawa and written by Keisuke Uyama and Tomoko Yoshida, Love Like the Falling Petals tells the tragic love story of Misaki Ariake, played by Honoka Matsumoto and Haruto Asakura, played by Kento Nakajima.
Circumstances bring Misaki, a hairdresser, and Haruto, a wannabe photographer, together, and a rare genetic disease pulls them apart. Read on to know more about Love Like the Falling Petals.
The Plot of Love Like the Falling Petals
At the beginning of Love Like the Falling Petals, we find Haruto narrating how a chance coupon brought him to the Penny Lane salon where Misaki had just joined as a hairdresser.
Haruto being her first customer, Misaki was both excited and nervous at the same time. Haruto liked her so much that he became a frequent customer of the salon just to be able to talk to her.
Haruto narrates that as a child, he nurtured the dream of becoming a famous photographer and cherished the Nikon F3 camera that his father had gifted him. However, when he joined a studio as a beginner, the struggle he had to face made him quit his job and ever since, he has been doing various odd jobs.
When Misaki asked him about his profession, Haruto just said that he took photographs. Misaki thought that he was a professional photographer when he was working at a karaoke bar at that time.
Haruto asks Misaki on a date during a haircut when a shocked Misaki accidentally cuts his earlobe.
A repentant Misaki goes on a date with Haruto when he confesses that he has lied about his profession but at the same time adds that he wants to change. After this, Misaki doesn’t hear from Haruto for some time, and she keeps thinking about him.
After a few days, Haruto calls her and tells her he has rejoined a studio and is calling her after getting his first paycheck. They meet at a restaurant where Haruto gifts her a scissor bag and also confesses his love for her.
Misaki cannot come on their next date, saying she has a fever. Haruto immediately comes to see her at her home, where he gets to meet Misaki’s protective and disapproving brother, played by Kento Nagayama.
Misaki’s brother later takes her to the doctor, who tells them that she is suffering from a rare genetic disorder called a progeroid syndrome. The sufferer ages a dozen times faster, and in short, he has to live life in a fast forward mode.
Meanwhile, unaware of this, Haruto proposes to Misaki. When her disease is confirmed, Misaki goes to Haruto’s apartment and spends some time with him.
She takes pictures from his camera and even consummates their relationship. Then, while Haruto is sleeping, she quietly leaves without a word.
Haruto desperately tries to contact her, sending her messages, going to her workplace, to her house, but can’t connect with her. Misaki calls to tell him that she has found someone else.
Meanwhile, her condition keeps worsening, but her brother refuses to give up on her and leaves no stone unturned to get her treated. He also calls her electromagnetic therapy after paying a massive amount of money, but one fine day finds that the clinic which had assured a cure has shut down for good and that it was all a scam.
All this has left Misaki’s brother high and dry and distances him from his partner Ayano, played by Yuki Sakurai, but all he cares about is his sister’s well being.
Meanwhile, Haruto seems to have moved on. He goes hiking with his colleague, who tells him that hearts are as fickle as falling flower petals. He also appears to be rising professionally as his boss Takanashi notices him and gives him a chance to exhibit his photographs.
Love Like the Falling Petals Ending Explained
To enliven her spirits, Misaki gifts her a pink cap on Christmas and gives her a red sock to write her to wish in. Later, he finds a note inside the sock saying that she wanted it to end. He also finds another crumpled note saying that she wanted to meet Haruto.
Misaki’s brother goes to meet Haruto and tells him everything. A shocked Haruto immediately goes to meet Misaki. She refuses to open the door of her room, but Haruto just sits at her door and keeps talking to her.
He keeps coming every day and keeps chatting endlessly. He also tells her about the exhibition and wishes he could take her to the show.
Misaki, gathering all her energies, goes to the exhibition where she finds that Haruto has tried to recreate their moments together through his photographs.
When Haruto learns that Misaki has gone to see his presentation, he rushes there. On the way, he finds Misaki but is unable to identify her.
Misaki succumbs to her disease at the end of Love Like the Falling Petals. Haruto goes to her room and looks at the pink cap. He realises that the old lady he had met on the road is Misaki.
Haruto weeps inconsolably and even contemplates killing himself when Ayano gives him Misaki’s letter. Misaki had written that his photographs would keep her forever young, giving him the courage to move on.
Review of Love Like the Falling Petals: Our take on the film
Love Like the Falling Petals has some superb performances by some accomplished actors.
Honoka Matsumoto is terrific as the effervescent young hairdresser. Kento Nakajima has also delivered a great act, especially in the scene when he realises that he didn’t recognise Misaki. Kento Nagayoma and Yuki Sakurai are also great as Misaki’s sympathetic brother and his partner, respectively.
The cinematography of Love Like the Falling Petals is flawless, with the visuals of the cherry blossoms simply mind-blowing. However, the 128 minutes of the movie seems to be a tad too long, and one tends to lose interest. Also, this emotional drama fails to tug on our heartstrings, and the viewers do not find a lump in their throats.