Small, Slow but Steady (2022) Movie Review

Who likes boxing movies? So, this time, KlikFilm is releasing new films and one of them is Small, Slow but Steady , a film from Japan directed by Shô Miyake.

Small, Slow but Steady (2022) Synopsis

This film is inspired by a real story and character, a boxer who has a disability, because he is deaf (can’t hear-ed) named Keiko Ogawa ( Yukino Kishii). With a small body and energy that tends to be mediocre, he has a strong will to practice boxing.

He trains at a club that has been built for a long time, chaired by a veteran (played by Tomokazu Miura), where Keiko is also taught by two coaches who take turns. Since the beginning of joining, Keiko just wanted to practice it to unwind and empty her mind after work.

Small, Slow but Steady

Then when he was offered to become a professional boxer, he immediately agreed. Weaknesses are not used as obstacles, indeed the training is differentiated. Because Keiko can not hear any instructions. However, with his eyes he was able to understand and follow the movements being taught.

Keiko lives with her younger sister, and she still has parents who live apart from her. The relationship with his sister is not close, but both of them still love and support each other.

The first game, Keiko managed to win. Even though during the match he only relied on instinct and the referee’s direction. Since that victory, Keiko has been actively practicing even though she has to work too. The mother was worried about him, but did not forbid if Keiko still wanted to continue his boxing activities.

Unfortunately, after winning two matches, he began to be haunted by fear. Confused, he continues to compete in his third match. Meanwhile, the club will soon be closed forever due to land development and also the impact of the pandemic. So, how is the continuation of Keiko’s life in boxing?

Small, Slow but Steady Movie Review

Listening Softly and Fullly Emotional

Even though it tells about boxers, this film doesn’t show anything that is adrenaline-pumping or a series of thrilling actions. On the other hand, Small, Slow but Steady is presented in such a gentle and emotional way.

The audience is faced with the story of a deaf boxer who never gives up, especially because he practices boxing because he wants to empty his mind. During school Keiko was often bullied because of her shortcomings, and when she grew up she wanted to forget all that.

This film doesn’t show much dialogue, everything tells a story through visuals, eye gaze, gestures, to the shooting angles that are presented beautifully. The approach given also feels right, so the audience also feels what Keiko is feeling.

Review Small, Slow but Steady

Keiko is also an ordinary human being, even though she has great determination and enthusiasm and a high sense of never giving up, she can feel fear. After the match she faced, Keiko entered a phase of indecision.

He was incredibly scared, all of that fear appeared with the change in Keiko. Starting from exercises that are not focused, no longer excited when I see boxing, to repeatedly thinking about wanting to take a short break.

In addition, the attachment of Keiko and the chairman of his boxing club also conveys warm emotional feelings. Especially when he found out that the club chairman was unwell and the place where he was practicing would soon be closed due to the lack of participants. Feelings of doubt, dilemma, and loss blend together smoothly throughout this film is presented.

Speaking Through Visuals

One of the highlights of this film is the lack of dialogue given, possibly because the main character is described as deaf. However, it was put to good use. The audience will see how Keiko survives, both from work and friends.

Weaknesses are not used as a limit, even though Keiko’s figure is not an expressive person, but with every action she takes, she conveys quite a deep message.

Work, friendship, to family, all on good terms with him. Even when communicating using sign language.

Through this film, we are taught to keep moving forward in life. Lack is not a reason to stop living. Precisely with the shortcomings that are owned, it could be an advantage that has not been realized.

Small, Slow but Steady Movie

Keiko’s family also gave full support for what she wanted. There are no restrictions, worries are always there. However, don’t worry about the shortcomings you have. But worried about the impact that Keiko could receive.

Because boxing is not a sport that doesn’t hurt physically, on the other hand, if you want to win, a boxer must be able to drop his opponent first.

Small, Slow but Steady Conclusion

Small, Slow but Steady is a film that is fun to watch. Provides a new perspective on the world of boxing that apparently a deaf person can work on. Enthusiasm and unyielding are the main foundation in achieving desires and making history.

The attachment to boxers and the quite emotional training ground also gives a feeling of sadness, it’s a shame that due to the pandemic, several places have been forced to close.

Through this film, we are taught to keep moving forward in life. Lack is not a reason to stop living. Precisely with the shortcomings that are owned, it could be an advantage that has not been realized.


Zephyrine is an experienced film critic who has worked for many magazines and websites specializing in cinema. She has a deep education in film history and theory, as well as a passion for classic and independent films. Writing style: Zephyrine always evaluates films objectively and honestly, not influenced by external factors such as the fame of actors or directors. She often focuses on the content, screenplay, technique, and personal feelings to provide insights and reviews of the film. Her writing style is easy to understand and familiar to readers, but also professional and profound. Notable articles: "Step Up" - Success comes from the perseverance and relentless effort of young people "The Social Network" - A fantastic documentary film about the birth of Facebook "Moonlight" - A touching story about love and the essence of humanity "Nomadland" - A poignant journey of a mature woman "Parasite" - A sensational film of Korean cinema with profound social messages.

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