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|Index||26 reviews in total|
This movie feels like a ballade on a forgotten road... Its rythm flows like magic and holds you to the storyline which enfolds peacefully. Its inner beauty is based on simplicity, on discovering what makes our humanity and on some well chosen bits of humor. There is an allmighty feeling of pleasure that emanates from experiencing this movie where nature is breathtaking or just simply here with you. And, when the movie is over, you feel grateful to have walked this path where love still exists. Such a powerful message upon entering our next millenium.
A samurai and his wife search to find happiness with themselves, their
relationship, and their station as they weather the disillusion of their
past and current circumstances.
Written by Akira Kurosawa and directed by Takashi Koizumi after Kurosawa's death. This is a breathtaking reflection of Kurosawa's early and later storytelling sensabilities. But it is a very complex film, one that upon initial viewing may defy the viewers expectations of the samurai genre and seem simplistic, overly long, or as one reviewer described: unexciting.
This film reminds me very much of Red Beard, another Kurosawa story that while set in feudal Japan is not necessarily a samurai film.
I stumbled upon this film by accident and I'm glad I did. The plot is simple, a master-less samurai and his wife are staying at an inn during a rain storm. Everyone is waiting for the rain to end and the river to go down so they can cross. The samurai is a gentle man who tries to help everyone pass the time much to his wife's chagrin. This is a sweet gentle film where nothing much happens and yet we get to know a bunch of very good people and learn a lesson about the value of kindness and honesty. A winner from start to finish.
In this movie set on the rainy season in fudal Japan, A ronin and his wife reach a poor hotel and interact with the guests and the local lord. The character of the ronin is unique. He has fought for money and thus taints himself in the eyes of the local samurai but his heart and care for the people along with his mastery of budo, wins over the lord who is a unique character in his own right. This is not a masterpiece of filming but the characters stay with you and it is a needed diversion from the gruff men we usually meet with the elder Corosowa.
Kurosawa was very interested in stories about older men facing their
destiny. Most of his films from Kagemusha and on deal with this in some
way. Ame Agaru is another story that deals with the topic.
Almost like a play at times, Ame Agaru takes it's time and is all the better for it. There are some excellent sword fights and formal duels in the film but they are not the focus of the film. There's a bit of time depicting the main character silently practicing his sword work in the woods that might bore a number of viewers.
Is this a Kurosawa film? Yes, in that I could easily see him directing this story. There are a number of similarities to his last film, Madadayo. No, in that the direction here is sort of mundane. Kurosawa's distinctive eye is missing. There's a TV movie quality that's sort of unusual for a film like this. However, the actors and the story really do carry this film over and while it's not a masterpiece, it's not a waste of time either if you know what you are getting into.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the beginning of the Eighteenth Century, in the transition period
between the luxurious Genroku Era (1688-1703) and the simple Kyocho Era
(1716-1735), the ronin a samurai without a master - Ihei Misawa
(Akira Terao) and his sweet wife Tayo Misawa (Yoshiko Miyazaki) are
trapped in a very humble inn with very poor guests. The rain does not
stop, and the group is unable to follow their journeys, once the water
level of the river is too high to be crossed. The good and decent Ilhei
goes to a dojo without the knowledge of Tayo and disputes a fight, and
with the collected money, he buys food and sake for the starving
costumers, making the people very happy. After the rain, in an incident
with some locals, he meets the feudal landlord, Lord Nagai Izuminokami
Shigeaki (Shiro Mifune), who invites him to be the chief of art of
fencing of his warriors, but the envy and proud prevail and Misawa is
dismissed from the aimed job. The quiet Tayo decides to present her
optimistic and touching viewpoint of what happened to Ilhei.
I was reluctant to see "Ame agaru" due to a wrong expectation and feeling. I believed the director Takashi Koizumi was an opportunist, using the name of Akira Kurosawa to promote himself in his career. How wrong I was! Indeed, "Ame agaru" is a very beautiful and sensitive feel-good movie and a great homage of Takashi Koizumi to his master Akira Kurosawa. The direction is simply perfect; the performances are stunning, with the actors and actresses showing passion, heart and soul in their interpretations, highlighting Akira Terao and Yoshiko Miyazaki; the locations are simple but beautiful; and the lovely story is wonderful, with a magnificent, optimistic and very human message in the end. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "Depois da Chuva" ("After the Rain")
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ihei Misawa, played by Akira Terao, is a samurai. He is a great warrior,
now that the civil wars are over, he finds himself looking for a place for
himself in the world. He and his wife Tayo (Yoshiko Miyazaki) are
looking for a better place for themselves, but they're stranded at a small
inn by a flooded river. While waiting for the rain to stop, and the river
go down enough to allow crossing, he tries to help entertain the others at
the inn, who are mostly poor. The rain finally stops, and he goes for a
in the woods, and breaks up a fight between a bunch of rowdy young men.
brings him to the attention of a local lord, who considers him for a job in
his castle. That's about as much as I can say about the plot without
While Ihei Misawa is a samurai, he's also a middle-aged man in a career crisis. What does a samurai do with himself when the wars have ended? He looks for a new career where his skills are still useful. His crisis is just like that of a laid-off worker of today, except for the line of work itself. The local lord, played by Shiro Mifune, also has problems that are still faced by modern people -- many of the people who work for him are incompetent or tiresome. The movie does a great job of telling a story that applies to a modern audience, even though it's set 300 years in the past.
Interestingly, although the movie has conflict, it has no major villain characters. (The rivals are all bit parts.) All of the central characters are basically good people. That's a refreshing outlook.
The movie was written by Akira Kurosawa before he died, and directed by his assistant director of 28 years, Takashi Koizumi, with most of the same regular crew. One of the supporting actors is Shiro Mifune, son of Toshirô Mifune, who starred in many of Kurosawa's movies. So in many ways it's a Kurosawa movie, and there's a substantial dedication to Kurosawa at the beginning of the film.
I saw the movie at a Seattle International Film Festival screening, and director appeared in person. Through an interpreter, he said that Kurosawa's son had persuaded him to direct the movie, with the support of many others who had worked with Kurosawa. He also said that he "asked and forced" the Akira Terao to star.
The only way I can describe this movie is Sweet.
It is such a lovely movie in its simplicity. There are no evil schemes and plots. No subplots within subplots with twist and suspense building. No massive production with a cast of thousands. No nasty characters that you hate. It is just a sweet simple story telling about an unemployed man (ronin) and his wife.
This movie made me smile as especially the wives. The wife of the Samurai, Tayo, is incredibly sweet. Same with the wife of the lord. Both play the "character" of the Asian wife...quietly supportive while leading the man to understanding with words of wisdom.
Great minimalistic acting. A Samurai Feel Good movie.
excellent Japanese period piece, co-written by Akira Kurosawa. an out-of-work samurai(a ronin) & his wife are stranded during a flood. as they are unable to cross a swollen river, they stay at an inn with many other stuck traveler's(mostly lower class). to earn some extra money(to to buy "comforts" for the other guests; namely food & wine), our protagonist gambles his fencing skills against the local instructors. they are no match for his superior skills and seek vengeance to restore their honor... not an action movie so much as a human drama, with many colorful & interesting characters. the fighting scenes are realistic & not prolonged & add a disturbing, violent balance to an otherwise slow paced, beautifully shot film. there's a great iai sequence shot in very serene surroundings(for those bu-do aficionados). a must see for those fans of Kurosawa's samurai flicks!!
One of the most beautiful movies in resent years.
The photography is incredible, the acting excellent, and the main characters are true to life. Even the ending - uncertain - leaves the viewer to provide his own ending
THAT'S how movies should be made!
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