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When you have the pairing of Tatsuya Nakadai and Hideko Takamine, you have magic. This absorbing drama spans 29 years of a relationship between Heibei (Nakadai) and Sadako (Takamine) in which they more or less despise each other. The relationship was built on a lie from the beginning as Heibei, returning home from war a semi-cripple (he needs a cane) tells Sadako that her boyfriend Takashi (Keiji Sada), who was still at war, was probably killed. Obviously, he wants Sadako for himself. He rapes her and a pregnancy happens. Takashi comes back not wounded and finds out and vows they will flee together, but this never happens. So, in five distinct chapters, you see this couple's marriage as what it really is: Filled with resentment, regret and overall enmity. There is not one chuckle in this film (in other words, its not over the top like "The War Of The Roses"). However, its so well acted by all three principal actors and it does not have a dull moment. Its about so many things. Mr. Kinoshita wrote and directed, doing a great job. Again, not a fun film, but for a fan of Nakadai, Takamine or even Mr. Sada, it is fairly essential viewing. I recommend it.
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