A devoted and happily-married housewife organises a surprise party on the occasion of her husband's birthday, unbeknownst to her that her dentist spouse is experiencing a sudden mid-life crisis at his office.
Princess Budu sleeps, and dreams. She dreams of whimsical fairies and a wicked, restless beastial spirit. Her dream is one unmoored from identity and self - perhaps she is the fairy, ... See full synopsis »
Accompanied by a shamisen, a masterful storyteller verses his lyric and sad rakugo (a traditional form of Japanese verbal entertainment) of a stingy old man living in a squalid tiny apartment in Tokyo, who after scavenging a few cherries from the pavement, he eats them whole for fear of wasting the pits. Before long, a minuscule cherry tree sprouts unexpectedly atop his bulging head, and when all efforts to get rid of it are proven futile, he allows it to grow into a magnificent tree where people gather for hanami under its cherry blossoms. And then, when the hordes of men start being annoying, the desperate man takes a decision that will follow him for the rest of his life.Written by
This film is a little difficult to digest, much like the cherry pits consumed by the main character. I personally quite enjoy Japanese film, though as another commenter posted earlier, it can sometimes take some acclimation. And even I found this a little weird, though only for the story content itself.
The animation is quite striking and well done, and I disagree with some comments that objected to the singsong style of the narrator throughout the story; for myself, the Japanese language lends itself well to this type of iteration (if you've been to Tokyo, think of the "Irasshimase!" that greets you when you enter a shop) and I thought it added to the authenticity of the story.
The film probably comes across as weird and bizarre to some people, and for good reason: it is indeed a bit off kilter. But I don't think that's any reason to dismiss it. There is some clear talent here, and some very nice storytelling - and the ending had me laugh out loud, proving once again that comedy is 70% delivery.
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