Two young guys work in a plant that manufactures oshibori (those moist hand-towels found in some Japanese restaurants). Their weird bond is based on uncontrollable rage--something neither ... See full summary »
Akiko travels to Vladivostok Russia to meet Matsunaga who she first met in Tokyo and is unable to forget. Even though Akiko meets Matsunaga again, Matsunaga does not remember her. Matsunaga... See full summary »
A seasoned detective is called in to rescue a politician held hostage by a lunatic. In a brief moment of uncertainty, he misses the chance for action. Leaving his job and family without ... See full summary »
A detective investigates a series of murders. A possible serial killer might be on a rampage, since they all are in the same vicinity and by the same method, but as the evidence points ... See full summary »
Reiko, a prize-winning writer, moves to a quiet isolated house to finish up her new novel. One night she sees the man next door transporting an object wrapped in cloth. She finds out he is ... See full summary »
Still Walking is a family drama about grown children visiting their elderly parents, which unfolds over one summer day. The aging parents have lived in the family home for decades. Their ... See full summary »
For a foreigner like me, Japan is a mystery, both wonderful, weird and hard to understand, especially since most of my information about the country is anecdotal or (worse?) coming from mangas. I've met people having the greatest respect for Japanese customs and people who completely badmouth the country.
From this perspective, Tokyo Sonata is a bit of a gem, showing me how ordinary Japanese people live and think. There is the family, standard issue of father, mother and two children, and there are the roles: head of the family, respectful housewife, rebellious teenager and confused child. What do they do when the economic crisis and the traditional value system clash?
I thought the actors were good, the soundtrack as well (to be expected given the title), and the plot was slow but crisp. There must have been a lot of expectations on a guy directing movies when his last name is Kurosawa and not related to Akira, because the movie was overall an excellent film. However, given its two hour length and slow pace, I advice you look at it when in the mood for cinematography, not some easy entertainment. Also, it is a pretty sad drama in places, so be ready to empathize with some hard hit people.
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