This is the story of Mama, a.k.a. Keiko, a middle-aged bar hostess who must choose to either get married or buy a bar of her own. Her family hounds her for money, her customers for her ... See full summary »
This is the story of Mama, a.k.a. Keiko, a middle-aged bar hostess who must choose to either get married or buy a bar of her own. Her family hounds her for money, her customers for her attention, and she is continually in debt. The life of a bar hostess is examined as well as the way in which the system traps and sometimes kills those in it. Written by
Keiko, also known as mama, is one of those truly unforgettable characters who you swear must exist somewhere out there in the real world. She is both strong, graceful and intelligent. This film has an outstanding lead and supporting cast, and ofcourse a great story centering on the day by day account of the life of a bar woman who struggles to maintain her pride. Don't worry, this movie's initially slow pace blossoms with enough twists and surprises to captivate and reward modern viewers.
Other characters to compare Keiko to is Junko, a much younger bar girl, who manages to work the system to her financial advantage. Komatsu, Keiko's manager, a young man smitten by Keiko's enchanting beauty and is reduced to just imagining a future alongside his beloved. Both Junko and Komatsu's youth prove to be of great contrast to Keiko and her wisdom of thiry years. Unlike Keiko, Junko can imagine and realize her simple but dead end dream of opening a bar in exchange for her dignity. Komatsu's wishes are as empty as his hands as he plays bartender in a run down club. He, alongside other people who are part of Keiko's life will slowly switch roles from friends, patrons and protector, Komatsu, into those who will contribute to the torture in Keiko's life. Just as rice was the center of Seven Samurai, money is the heart of this film. Ultimately, the heroine can rise above everything, everyone and ascend the stairs to Bar Carton again.
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