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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