A rather pedestrian movie from a master director, Mother Never Dies is neither terrible, nor terribly good. The movie is about a married couple and their son and travails over a number of years. It starts just before the beginning of the Depression, when the father gets laid off from his job. While he struggles to feed the family and find another job, the son has to adjust to being in a lower income bracket. Meanwhile, the mother develops this worrying pain in her stomach... The first half of the story has a gentle optimism (despite its potentially depressing subject matter) but as the timeline of the movie approaches the Pacific War (against the Chinese "aggressors" as they're called in the movie) the movie's theme of the need to suppress individuality to become a better Japanese comes to the foreground. Not as offensive or didactic as propaganda movies can be, Mother Never Dies is ultimately just a somewhat dull family drama.
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