Umekichi, a geisha in the Gion district of Kyoto, feels obliged to help her lover Furusawa when he asks to stay with her after becoming bankrupt and leaving his wife. However her younger ... See full summary »
This is a modern fairy story. It's a little hard to talk about without revealing the plot, but major themes are the evil consequences of arrogance, the redeeming power of guilt, the importance of a woman's virtue, the need for expiation of one's sins, the role of family and the power of forgiveness.
There's a fair bit of Noh in it, which is an acquired taste for some, but even if you don't understand any allusions, the film is still worth watching.
As ever in Naruse, some beautiful scenes, excellent camera-work and convincing interaction. It is a little stilted and contrived compared with his other films, and the acting is less powerful, with much less emphasis on womens' characters, but this is doubtless a response to the Noh context.
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