To really appreciate the film. you have to understand the mentality of the Japanese, especially the Japanese society during the early 20th century. That is very different from the western way of doing, or even thinking things. The subtle messages and the hyper-sensitive (not really the exact word I would like but cannot think of any other at the moment) hit me with full impact and I was glued to the screen for the 134 minutes of it. It is a sad story, as most of the novels by the same author are. But that does not make it any less entertaining. I wish Japan can produce films like this more often. The recent output (apart from "Departure" which is excellent, are more often than not, disappointing.
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