The businessman Ogata Shingo works with his son Shuichi, who is his secretary, and they live together in the suburb with their wives Yasuko and Kikuko respectively. Shuichi has a love ... See full summary »
The businessman Ogata Shingo works with his son Shuichi, who is his secretary, and they live together in the suburb with their wives Yasuko and Kikuko respectively. Shuichi has a love affair and a loveless marriage with Kikuko. Yasuko has dedicated her entire life to her family but Shingo married her only because her older sister had died. Kikuko is the pride and joy of Shingo and they are close to each other. Out of the blue, Shingo and Yasuko's daughter Fusako leaves her husband and arrives at Shingo's home with her two children. Shingo investigates and finds the address of Shuichi's lover. Meanwhile Kikuko goes to the hospital and Shingo learns that she was pregnant but decided to abort her child. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In the beginning it looks quite like an Ozu film: we have the requisite sad old man, sentimental music and even Setsuko Hara. Indeed, this must be Naruse's most Ozu-like film. A family is on the brink of falling apart and in the end it does. Setsuko's husband is carrying on an affair and her father-in-law is ashamed of him. The father cannot understand how his son would mistreat such a loving wife (Hara also reminds the father of the girl he was in love with in his youth). But "The Sound of the Mountain" is not an Ozu film; it is infused with its creator's pessimism and doubt. Naruse does not offer us a vision of acceptance, but his characters seem wearier than usual and fight against fate less. I don't think that the director felt very close to the material. When it's all said and done this film is a straightforward adaptation of a Kawabata novel and succeeds only marginally better than another classic Kawabata film adaptation, Shiro Toyoda's "Snow Country." The source author is not one whose books should be adapted by those who are inclined towards visual modesty. This film probably would have been much better in the hands of Kinoshita or Mizoguchi. However as it stands it is very good and the second half is particularly fine and involving until the slightly gratuitous finale. Not one of the director's best but more than worth a look if you can dig it up.
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