Ryoichi and Chikako are brother and sister. They live together. Chikako works during the day in a office and at night she prostitutes herself to fund her brother studies in univesity. ... See full summary »
Ryoichi and Chikako are brother and sister. They live together. Chikako works during the day in a office and at night she prostitutes herself to fund her brother studies in univesity. Ryoichi doesn't know about his sister's secret life but he is dating Harue whose brother is a policeman. Written by
When I watched "Woman of Tokyo", I was struck by the theme which reminded me of Mizoguchi's works which were often on prostitution and its effects. With this film, Ozu also shares Mizoguchi's compassion for self-sacrificing women. See for yourself : in a poor working-class district of Tokyo, a woman named Chikako (Yoshiko Okada) shares a modest apartment with her brother Ryoichi (Ureo Egawa). Chikako works every day as an office typist and every evening on commissioned translations for a university professor, so Ryoichi can devote himself completely to his studies. However, Chikako comes under scrutiny when a police inspector pays an unexpected visit to her office one day. The nebulous and undisclosed nature of the investigation leads to speculation, and rumors begin to surface about Chikako's disreputable conduct by working as a cabaret hostess. In an attempt to mitigate the embarrassment of the brewing scandal, the well-intentioned Harue (Kinuyo Tanaka), Ryoichi's girlfriend, decides to alert Chikako of the gossip, but instead, reveals the information to Ryoichi. Outraged and ashamed by his sister's behavior, Ryoichi rejects Chikako and leaves home...
There are many things to enjoy in "Woman of Tokyo" (the plot and the acting, to start with), but first of all it is an interesting film for all those who would like to see en early elaboration of Ozu's style, especially in his use of domestic setting and confined, interior shots. There is also an overt tribute to Ernst Lubitsch (much admired by Ozu) with a full-frame excerpt from Lubitsch's short film entitled "The Clerk" taken from "If I Had a Million". Ozu will get only better and better after this "Woman of Tokyo".
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