In Tokyo in 1888, Kikunosuke Onoue, the adoptive son of an important actor, discovers that he is praised for his acting only because he is his father's heir, and that the troupe complains ...
See full summary »
Ishun is a wealthy, but unsympathetic, master printer who has wrongly accused his wife and best employee of being lovers. To escape punishment, the accused run away together, but Ishun is certain to be ruined if word gets out.
Utamaro, a great artist, lives to create portraits of beautiful women, and the brothels of Tokyo provide his models. A world of passion swirls around him, as the women in his life vie for ... See full summary »
Hatsuko Umabuchi is a widow who runs a prosperous geisha house in present day Kyoto. Her daughter Yukiko returns from Tokyo following a failed suicide attempt, after her lover found out ... See full summary »
Special Forces commander Captain Tadamori returns to Kyoto after successfully defeating the uprising of pirates in the western sea of Japan. But because the high courtiers dislike career ... See full summary »
In the post-war, the sixteen year-old teenager Eiko seeks out the geisha Miyoharu in the district of Gion, in Kyoto asking her to be a "maiko" (apprentice of geisha). Eiko explains that her... See full summary »
Shinnosuke is introduced to Shizu as a prospective marriage partner, but he falls in love with her widowed sister Oyu. Convention forbids Oyu to marry because she has to raise her son as ... See full summary »
Young servant girl Hamako has just started working for her personal hero, Madame Yuki. Her romanticized view of the Madame is broken immediately, as she is introduced with a list of the Madame's personal problems.
In Tokyo in 1888, Kikunosuke Onoue, the adoptive son of an important actor, discovers that he is praised for his acting only because he is his father's heir, and that the troupe complains how bad he is behind his back. The only person to talk to him honestly about his acting is Otoku, the wet-nurse of his adoptive father's child. She is fired by the family, and Kikunosuke is forbidden to see her, because of the gossip a relationship with a servant would cause. Kikunosuke falls in love with Otoku, and leaves home to try to make a living on his own merits outside Tokyo. He is eventually joined by Otoku, who encourages him to become a famous actor to regain the recognition of his family. Written by
This is one real powerful and effectively directed movie, that also is fine looking and features some fine acting performances.
It's a quite long movie, which is not really due to its story but more in the way its sequences are handled. Director Kenji Mizoguchi maintains a very slow pace with many long static scenes in it, in which the camera doesn't move and there are no in between cuts. It does work out well though for the movie. It makes the movie visually beautiful to look at but also makes the story more powerful. It's a real fine directed movie, for which the director can not be praised enough. He handles the movie and its story really well and effectively.
The story features some typical and important Japanese themes in it, such as honor and family. Fans of Japanese cinema or Japanese culture will surely get a blast out of this movie. The entire story is set in the Japan, or Tokyo to be precise, of 1885. This means that the movie is also being filled by some wonderful looking sets and costumes.
It's also a pretty well acted movie. Normally I'm not a too big fan of acting in Asian movies but this movie feature some rather realistic performance, that don't ever go over-the-top, which also is a real accomplishment for a '30's movie in general.
Mostly due to its directing approach the movie works out so well and effectively. Because lets be honest, the story itself is actually quite simple and also not something that hasn't done before in any way. It's the reason why director Kenji Mizoguchi is still so loved and appreciated by many, even now, well over 50 years after his death. The themes are all handled well and despite being not too original, it all works out still well and refreshing.
But it's not just a style for everybody though. I can understand that some people might not like watching this movie, since it's pace is so slow and overall cinematic style is so outdated now days. Nevertheless cinematic lovers, or just fans of Japanese cinema, should be able to really appreciate this movie.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?