This is the story of a farming family finding themselves surrounded by urban sprawl, and the modern values that inevitably pervade along with it. Twenty-something Mitsuo works hard in his greenhouses raising tomatoes on a farm his father left to the family after selling most of the land to developers and running off with a local bar maid.
As viewers, we follow Mitsuo as he struggles with falling tomato prices, briefly a married woman's carnal addiction , his best friend's impulses, his father's choices, a mother and senile granny at home, and the courtship of a woman as traditionally minded as himself. We watch as Mitsuo juggles these with simple fortitude.
The films style is very matter of fact and paints a seemingly grim, but always hopeful picture, while underlying is a perennial message. No fancy cinematography here, just solid directing, requisite scripting, and adequate acting telling a story very well. This film is as strong as,and yet as simple as, it's main protagonist, and that speaks volumes. The characterizations are also right on target. This IS a Japanese film, so having some knowledge of, and love for, Japanese culture goes a long way toward getting the full import of the story. Scene elements run from the mundane, the poignant, and, as the title implies, through to the tragic. The plot is fairly direct and holds water effortlessly. A fine film for fans of film-as-story. This is a hard to find film, but worth the effort. Not for the Hollywood, eye-candy crowd.
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