Setsuko is unhappily to Mimura, an engineer with no job and a bad drinking habit. She had always been in love with Hiroshi but both of them failed to propose when Hiroshi left for France a ... See full summary »
Setsuko is unhappily to Mimura, an engineer with no job and a bad drinking habit. She had always been in love with Hiroshi but both of them failed to propose when Hiroshi left for France a few years ago. Now he is back and Mariko (Setsuko's sister) tries to reunite them. She too is secretly in love with Hiroshi. Written by
Setsuko, married to an abusive husband, adheres to traditional Japanese values, her younger sister Mariko embraces modernity, and they're both in love with the antique dealer Hiroshi.
This was a prestige-project for the Shintoho-studio, with a pleiad of Japanese stars, based on a bestseller novel. It was a commissioned work for Ozu and although it has all of his familiar themes, it's obvious his heart just wasn't in it. The contrast between the two sisters, one in kimono, the other in modern dress or between the drunk neanderthal husband and the gentle but ineffectual love-interest, it's all too obvious and schematic. The overwrought plot has too many melodramatic devices (like characters conveniently dropping dead when the the story stalls) and not enough flesh-and-blood characters to keep our interest. Furthermore, the movie is so strongly anchored in Japanese society that, unlike most other Ozu-movies, it has very little universal appeal.
It's not that this movie is bad, it's just that there's not a lot here that you could call good.
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