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Women in the Mirror (2002)

Kagami no onnatachi (original title)
Three women who share memories of the Hiroshima disaster try to uncover the hidden family ties that may or may not bind them together.

Director:

(as Kiju Yoshida)

Writer:

(as Kiju Yoshida)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Mariko Okada ...
Ai Kawase
Yoshiko Tanaka ...
Sae Isshiki ...
Natsuki
Hideo Murota ...
Goda
Tokuma Nishioka ...
The Protector
Mirai Yamamoto ...
The Journalist
Miki Sanjô ...
The Old Woman
Hiroshi Inuzuka ...
The Old Man
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Storyline

Three women who share memories of the Hiroshima disaster try to uncover the hidden family ties that may or may not bind them together.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

2 April 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Femmes en miroir  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Women in the Mirror (2002)
1 February 2015 | by (Croatia) – See all my reviews

Women in the Mirror is the last feature film directed by Yoshishige Yoshida and also marks the 154th screen appearance of his wife Mariko Okada. The title of the movie can pretty much be applied to most Yoshida films - they usually center around women, and there are always mirrors around. This time, the usage of mirrors is less subtle than usual, given that there's a scene where an amnesiac stares at a broken mirror questioning her identity (which was shacked by the Hiroshima disaster). There are many other of Yoshida's trademarks - for example, Mariko Okada's character often carries an umbrella with her.

Obligatory comment about the visuals: this is the most "restrained" Yoshida movie. I mean, after all, it's his last, so you can expect it to be the culmination of his style. And indeed, the avant-garde, beautiful framing in this film follows the plot conventionally, instead of being a separate entity. The question is whether or not you like this approach, and even though I prefer Yoshida when at his most visually unbound, I also like Women in the Mirror's calm, assured style. I mean, this time around, there are actually establishing shots and repeated shots.

The majority of the film is color-coded. The predominant colors are grayish shades of blue, green and brown, however certain settings have their own palette, like the granddaughter's office bathed in futuristic shades of blue. One scene covers the entire indoor set in bright red (due to a sunset), while the final scene slowly fades into flashy whiteness (thus evoking the atomic bomb effects). It's a beautifully shot movie overall.

It deals with the subject of confused identity and ambiguous memories, and does a great job of sucking you into the story because of its slow, mesmerizing atmosphere and the intense musical score. The performances are also fantastic. One thing I've disliked, however, is the excessive use of exposition in dialogues, and I'm not sure what to feel about the ending. I'll have to give it one thing though - when it comes to style, this is probably the most self-assured Yoshida film.


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