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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Expect to be saddened

Author: Gordon-11 from Earth
5 November 2013

This is a remake of the classic story where a young girl born into a poor family having to endure extreme hardships in the 1900's.

I remember watching every episode of the TV series "Oshin" when I was a child, and I was so touched by it. The 2013 remake continues the tradition, and tells the heart wrenching hardships of a 7 year old girl. The story is very sad, and is almost unbelievable in modern day world. The girl playing Oshin is remarkable, as she cheerfully plays the highly resilient girl. Her range and depth of emotions is quite astonishing, as her character goes through a plethora of emotions including joy, sadness, desperation, anger and shame.

Though the pacing is a little slow, it means there is much time for viewers to savour what it is really like to be Oshin. This is a film to feel and empathise. Expect to be saddened.

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A powerful, heartbreaking story about a little girl surviving against all odds.

Author: shawneofthedead from
5 February 2014

In the early 1980s, pretty much the entire country of Japan was obsessed with a television series about the trials and tribulations of a girl named Oshin. The 297 15-minute episodes, broadcast twice a day for about a year, broke ratings records. Viewers were riveted by Oshin's life story, from her youngest days as a live-in servant through to her marriage and eventual establishment of her own business. It's easy to see why: thirty years after she first captivated audiences, Oshin remains a wonderful character, heartbreak and strength wrapped up in a determined little package.

Director Shin Togashi's film focuses squarely on a young Oshin (Kokone Hamada) who, at the tender age of seven, must leave her home and family to work as a live-in servant for a timber trader. But, tough as her circumstances already are, the vicissitudes of life do not spare Oshin. Soon, she finds herself stumbling through a blizzard into the forsaken log cabin of ex-soldier Shunsaku (Shinnosuke Mitsushima), before she fetches up in the home of the wealthy rice-trading Kagaya family, run by its matriarch (Pinko Izumi).

In remaining true to the spirit and narrative of the television series, this incarnation of Oshin has the tendency to feel rather episodic. It's quite easy to trace the beats and rhythms of a more fragmented story. But that doesn't really detract from the power of Oshin's tale, which is really one about mothers, daughters and women. As it turns out, three decades has made little difference to an age-old story extolling the virtues of sacrifice, humility and perseverance, one that's told here with great sensitivity. The frequent tests of her fortitude and integrity – not to mention the depths that her own mother (Aya Ueto) must sink to in order to make ends meet – will wring tears out of the hardest of hearts.

Hamada is a marvel. Beating out close to 2,500 other candidates for the part, she carries the film easily on her tiny shoulders. As Oshin, she switches – seemingly effortlessly – from sunshine-bright innocence to steely resilience. She's so enormously expressive that it's almost impossible to take your eyes off her in a scene, even when she's surrounded by a great cast of supporting actresses. Ueto and Izumi are both excellent, the former despairing of the need to essentially sell her daughter into indentured servitude, the latter transcending class and prejudice to see the intelligence and spirit burning within Oshin. Fans of the original television series will be thrilled, too, to see Ayako Kobayashi – who played Oshin then – as a mother within the Kagaya family.

It's no wonder that Oshin's story has become part of Japan's cultural heritage – and a symbol of strength and endurance the world over. In a media industry that still has trouble developing and portraying powerful, rounded, non-sexualised female characters, Oshin comes as a breath of fresh air – which is, sadly, all the more troubling for the fact that this is a story that's thirty years old.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Superb Story, Superb Remake

Author: Lsaml Kaskus from Indonesia
16 March 2014

Oshin 2013 is an excellent remake.

Sequel and remake are normally very hard to match its predecessor, especially if the older movie is a very good one. The audience have benchmark (at a very high standard) to compare this movie with.

It's original TV serial in 1980's was a big hit, not only in Japan, but at least in Southeast Asia region. It is rated 8.1 of 10 (338 user reviews) on IMDb at the time I am writing this review.

Two of the original stars reappear in this movie, Ayako Kobayashi (playing Mino, Kayo's mother, previously was young Oshin in TV serial) and Ms Pinko Izumi (playing Kuni, the old grannie master, previously Oshin's mother in TV serial). A brilliant, yet daring selection which invited the audience to refresh their memory and at the same time directly compare this movie with the original version.

Kokone Hamada who played the Oshin in this movie is an awesome young talent.

------ The script itself is a dominant factor who contributes to the fame of this movie. It tells a story about a young girl who was forced to become a domestic helper to help her family.

The characters were surrounded beautifully with Japanese winter environment, cultural wisdom, and social history. So this is a pretty rich story.

The movie-maker once told that Oshin remake is dedicated to the present generation, especially in Japan, who is confronting harsh living and competition and some of Japanese young generation have fallen into stressful life or even suicides. Oshin movie wants to convey the message about survival, family support, hard-work, and promoting better opportunity for young generation, especially for the not-have and the girls.

Oshin is said to be inspired by a real life of a successful female entrepreneur in Japan.

I don't speak Japanese, and have little knowledge in Japanese movie culture. So I reserve further judgment about the actors' performance.

A well-delivered remake. A classic has reborn.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

...if you are NOT looking to cry, don't watch this movie

Author: bcheng93 from ny ny
19 April 2014

i don't know what everybody is writing about this movie, although i would presume that the movie would get high grades from movie fans and critics alike. all i have to say is that i have watched a couple of thousand movies in my life and i have never experienced something like this.

...i am a guy and i am ashamed to say that through the second half of the movie till the end i was literally bawling or my eyes were wet. so..., be warned, if you're looking for something uplifting throughout, this is not the movie!

some of the nature shots in the snow were so was literally, breathe-taking. that was another plus for the movie, some of the shots outside in natural surroundings with minimal human interaction...were just breathe-taking and so enjoyable, like good poetry.

...that is all i want to say about this good sad poetry...drifting and soon gone with the wind, like time passing

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Feminist grown from harsh environment

Author: Kicino from Hong Kong
2 January 2014

I was prepared to cry or weep and Oshin did jerk my tears. But I think the parting and crying scenes could have been toned down or shortened a little and focused more on Oshin's relationship with her family.

The cinematography was stunning. Perhaps the harsh snowy environment is a beauty no matter how you frame it. But the light, the river raft and the smoke from the villages are just poetic. With the huge wood and straw houses it is just a perfect place for country life.

Hamada Kokone is perfect in portraying 7-year-old Oshin. Natural and smart. Yet emotional and perceptive. Even her eyes alone convey lots of emotions.

This remake of Oshin is essentially a feminist movie. All the female characters, including Oshin, her mom, the rich Grandma etc. are much stronger than their male counter parts. For stronger I mean more assertive, more daring, more reasonable, more creative, wiser, and of course more enduring and resilient.

Even the runaway soldier's character is developed along this line: he is one of the oppressed in spite of his talents but he is surviving with dignity – as other strong female in the movie.

Perhaps only under this harsh environment can a yamato nasdesko be groomed. Salute to the Japanese women who appear to be weak and submissive but actually very powerful internally.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Work Work Work

Author: Eka Herlyanti from Indonesia
13 January 2016

It took me almost a week to be convinced to finally watch this movie. You know, I wasn't in the mood to watch a sad and heartbreaking movie lately. That's why I kept putting this movie off. Until yesterday I decided that I was ready.

Honestly I didn't know if this movie is based on a real story. It's just that I've been familiar with Oshin since I was just a little kid, but in drama series form.

This movie is not just telling story that can make you cry. Or mere a story that suits your melancholic feeling. But this movie also gives you strength to live your life. No matter how hard and tough your life might have been. Just live it to the fullest and to the lowest. It's just a journey you have to finish.

I like all the casts, especially of Oshin, Kayo, and Kayo's granny. In spite of Oshin's face expression that sometimes confused me if it is showing mad, sad or just trying to be tough.

I cried hard when Kayo admitted to her granny what she had done to Oshin that made her got beaten by Oshin. This moment is so special and so rare to me to have that certain kind of twist plot after I managed to predict the plot about the money matter in her first job. Amazing. I just love this movie and the inspiration it gives.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It's not too early to contribute to the family's need.

Author: Reno Rangan from Somewhere in the Cosmos
8 July 2014

An incredible biographical movie about a seven-year-old Japanese girl called Oshin that is set in the Meiji period (1907). The life journey of a little kid who went through the family difficulties. It was, actually a movie adaptation of the popular 80s television series. Not only the Japan, but it rocked all the neighbor countries and became one of the most watched program. Knowing by reading about the series created more interest in me than this movie that I saw. Hope some day gonna get an opportunity to see it.

A young girl Oshin is forced to drop out school to help her family's financial situation. Her contribution is that she's sent to a rich house as a live-in servant. She has to work hard in order to feed her family. It is not a smooth job as she had no experience before. Sooner, the problem arises that put her job and family in peril. How she works out on the issue and learns to blend in thinking only the outcome, not individually by herself is what the whole movie speaks about.

''Wars are won by killing people. That's not great.''

Here is the movie for 'tearjerkers'. It was a sentimental movie that uncovers the crisis of a poor family. The responsibility is always shared equally whether you are in your early age or too old in a family that suffers from food and income shortage. We won't get out to the streets to learn about below poverty level people so this movie is a good lesson to study. The people who liked 'The Pursuit of Happiness' will definitely like this movie as well.

The story takes place 100 years ago and in the unknown cultural territory. So cultural wise it is a new dimension to observe and struggle wise it is same everywhere in the world. The kid acted so awesomely. I also heard that her mother was used to be the character Oshin in television series. So great to hear that she did a role in this movie. All in all it is a very good family drama to spend our 2 hour valuable time for it. Must go for it by tearjers and children movie fans.

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