I have lost my interest with Japanese dramas and also became extremely busy with real life stuffs. Anyway, this movie is one of the best I have seen in a very long time. How timely as well, as it is about moving on and being at peace with your past.
Dwelling on his past glory as a prize-winning author, Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) wastes the money he makes as a private detective on gambling and can barely meet ends and pay child support. After the death of his father, his aging mother Yoshiko (Kirin Kiki) seem to be moving on with her life with hobbies with the local elderly ladies. Ryota makes extra money by counter-offering his service with agency’s client targets. He gets a contract to aid in a manga series with an upcoming artist but his ambitions stymie him from it initially. He finds his sister Chinatsu is visiting their mother frequently and suspects she is trying sponge off her and as he believes she makes their mother to pay for her daughter’s figure skating lesson’s from her social pension. His sister suspects Ryota’s visits are for taking advantage of their mother. Ryota tries to renew contact with his beautiful ex-wife Kyoko (Yoko Make) and in a stormy summer night sheltered at his mother’s home with his family he attempts to take back control of his existence and to find a lasting place in the life of his young son Shingo (Taiyo Yoshizawa). His ex-wife says it is truly over with them and grownups cannot live only with love but planning is required and Ryota isn’t cut out to be family man, if he were he would have done so earlier. Ryota reaches an understanding on his family life and uses the chance to bond with his son and tries to make memorable experiences he had with his father as a child with his son before time and place for it passes over.
I like how realistic it is, the dialogues are taut, sincere and natural “If you are so interested in being a good father, why didn’t you try harder before?” minimal used of sound effects and the characters sport the no-make up look. Kirin Kiki did a superb job portraying the role of the grandma who is not shy to warn people of her impending death, the ex-wife prim, proper and stingy in showing emotions, and AH obviously fawning over her, stalking, investigating and trying hard to make any kind of connection.
Lastly, that sidekick, wasn’t he Shingai and Imotou from Mozu? Just weird cause I thought that was the son’s name.
Anyway, great movie, I am so pleased with the story and how sensible and incredibly satisfying it ended, even though it is not how romance god would have wanted. To some extent, introspection is necessary to appreciate the meaning of the moviem, but what I like is that it does not pretend to be an art film, nor something that would win an Oscars.