Exploring my third Kiyoshi Kurosawa film this week and this one is 180 degree different from his crime and horror masterpieces. It is cent percent simple and moving film and a window to the world of a common Japanese bourgeois family. A mid age man working as an administrative director lost his job at downsizing company. He’s a responsible family man and sole bread earner for his family consists of two children and a wife. Though he’s struggling to get a new job, he keeps on pretending to go office everyday. He hasn’t informed his wife about it and still manages to give her monthly house expense.
Kiyoshi managed to make an emotionally warm and intense family cinema pushed by character driven drama of four characters belong to a single disintegrated family. And all of them are protagonists in their own ways- a jobless authoritarian patriarch trying to be deceptive about his shame and frustration, a school going boy struggling to learn piano & his directionless elder brother struggling to set his future volunteering for US military, the wife & mother who though knowing everything and both ends keeps on making up the family…and than a young piano teacher who’s getting divorce. Acting by all the cast is anything less or above the normal or natural. The film takes unexpected turns into the lives of three family members in the last forty minutes until we heard sonorous and healing piano played by the boy that touches the souls of audience as some divine emotional purgation.
Must watch is understatement!