Two young guys work in a plant that manufactures oshibori (those moist hand-towels found in some Japanese restaurants). Their weird bond is based on uncontrollable rage--something neither ... See full summary »
A detective investigates a series of murders. A possible serial killer might be on a rampage, since they all are in the same vicinity and by the same method, but as the evidence points ... See full summary »
A seasoned detective is called in to rescue a politician held hostage by a lunatic. In a brief moment of uncertainty, he misses the chance for action. Leaving his job and family without ... See full summary »
Akiko travels to Vladivostok Russia to meet Matsunaga who she first met in Tokyo and is unable to forget. Even though Akiko meets Matsunaga again, Matsunaga does not remember her. Matsunaga... See full summary »
Reiko, a prize-winning writer, moves to a quiet isolated house to finish up her new novel. One night she sees the man next door transporting an object wrapped in cloth. She finds out he is ... See full summary »
Takakura is a former detective. He receives a request from his ex-colleague, Nogami, to examine a missing family case that occurred 6 years earlier. Takakura follows Saki's memory. She is ... See full summary »
Mizuki's husband (Yusuke) drowned at sea three years ago. When he suddenly comes back home, she is not that surprised. Instead, Mizuki is wondering what took him so long. She agrees to let Yusuke take her on a journey.
Salary man loses his job and in order to save face lives a lie to his family by continuing to set off to work as if all was normal. Meanwhile his wife detects the changes whilst his two son's grow further away from him.
The backdrop is the 2008 Japanese recession, and throughout we see suited figures walking ghostly across the screen, some looking for jobs, others like the lead character living their own lies. The movie doesn't pull any punches in it's damming portrayal of a modern Japan, throughout we see Tokyo portrayed as confined, gritty, cold and sterile. Gone are the neon and hyper kinetics of Shubuya or the affluent Ginza, what we have are job centre queues and homeless shelter camps.
What this movie also draws light on is a sense of masculinity in the modern age. We have the sins of the father resonating throughout this movie adding to a greater sense of tragedy.
Throughout Tokyo Sonata we feel as though the tragic nature of the storyline can only head in one direction, however whereas many tragedies shows art as destruction, here we have art as saviour.
A truly touching movie, the likes of which I haven't seen in a while. The movie doesn't wallow in it's own self pity, what is shows is that all our destined paths can only be walked by us alone, no matter what ties and bonds we have made along the way.
If every movie endeavoured to convey this stark yet simple message, then I'll be for that.
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