In the early 60's in Tokyo, the widower Hirayama is a former captain from the Japanese navy that works as a manager of a factory and lives with his twenty-four year-old daughter Michiko and his son Kazuo in his house. His older son Koichi is married with Akiko that are compulsive consumers and Akiko financially controls their expenses. Hirayama frequently meets his old friends Kawai and Professor Horie, who is married with a younger wife, to drink in a bar. When their school teacher Sakuma comes to a reunion of Hirayama with old school mates, they learn that the old man lives with his daughter that stayed single to take care of him. Michiko lives a happy life with her father and her brother, but Hirayama feels that it is time to let her go and tries to arrange a marriage for her. —Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ozu's Great Swan Song
This is Ozu's last film, and it is wonderful. At first, I wondered if it could be even good. It has similar themes of other, amazing films like "Late Spring" and "Early Summer", both of which had the truly amazing actress Setsuko Hara, who is not in this film. However, this film is just about as great as them, since it has one of the best acting performances of terrific Ozu regular Chishu Ryu. He plays the father, a widower with three children, two sons and a daughter. It is no surprise to me that the daughter Michiko, played by Shima Iwashita and Akiko the daughter in law, played by Mariko Okada, have had such long, varied careers in cinema. They are great in their roles. There is a certain sass to both of them which really comes across in their characters. They are also both beautiful. The story also has a great sideline, in which Mr. Ryu's old friends help out an teacher, nicknamed "The Gourd". From there, you meet the teacher's daughter Tanako, a familiar face to all Ozu fans. I was deeply affected by Tomako, even though her role is small. I feel her sadness and loneliness. Another great scene is when the father meets up with an old armed services buddy and they go to a local bar and play a war march. They are a bit drunk, and they salute. Playing the barmaid is the great actress Kyoko Kishida, star of the great "Manji" and "Woman In The Dunes". I was deeply interested in the lives of these people, and find the film to be just wonderful, displaying the emotions that a great Ozu film possesses. This film is profoundly moving. I would not start with this film as an introduction to Ozu, only because "Tokyo Story", "Late Spring" and "I Was Born, But" are such masterpieces, but this ranks with them. A deeply profound, excellent epitaph from Yasojiro Ozu, one of the greatest directors ever, from anywhere at any time. See it, you will not be disappointed. Rest in peace, Yasojiro Ozu.
- Apr 19, 2008
Contribute to this page
Suggest an edit or add missing content