Shimura Kingo fails his duty to protect the life of the Shogun's chief minister, and spends his life tracking down the assassins. However, all but one of the assassins die before Kingo can reach them. Still, Kingo presses on.
A woman looks back on her family's life in Tokyo before and during WWII. A maid arrives from the countryside to work for an upper middle class family. She fits in well, but everyone's emotions are stirred up with the arrival of a student.
Movie is based on an actual existing village in Nagano prefecture with same name as its Japanese title (Oshikamura Soudoki) Oshikamura. Over 300 villagers from the actual village appeared in this movie as extras.
This movie also became the final appearance of one of the greatest Japanese actor, Yoshio Harada.
Zen (Yoshio Harada) is a restaurant owner that serves deer meat in the village of Oshika. One day his old wife Takako (Michiyo Ookusu) appears with Osamu (Ittoku Kishibe). They eloped together 18 years ago, but came back because Takako lost her mind, and thinks Osamu is now Zen. Osamu asks Zen to take Takako back, and Zen accepts. The village has a 300 year old tradition of stage show that's a collaborative effort of the villagers. This year, they are working on the stage show, but one of the actors can't make it. Takako despite her insanity remembers all the script and she is used in the play. Takako regains some sanity, and everyone's life seems to be back on track, or is it ?
The movie is bit difficult to follow. This is because all the shots are taken at a distance, and you can't see the expression of the actors very well. There's no punctuation to the dialog that tells you when each important point is made. But there's humor and interesting cultural settings that makes a good backdrop for the story.
This movie was made for the Japanese audience and may be difficult to follow for audiences outside of Japan, but if you're an Asian movie fan, this is a good comedy drama that is entertaining to watch.
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