The manager of a pancake stall finds himself confronted with an odd but sympathetic elderly woman looking for work. A taste of her homemade bean jelly convinces him to hire her, which ...
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The Aso family live in the old town of Nara. One Day, Kei, one of the Aso's twin boys suddenly disappears. Five years later seventeen-year old Shun, the remaining twin, is an art student. ... See full summary »
The manager of a pancake stall finds himself confronted with an odd but sympathetic elderly woman looking for work. A taste of her homemade bean jelly convinces him to hire her, which starts a relationship that is about much more than just street food.Written by
"Sweet Bean" is a small, reflective movie that depicts the relationship between a guy working at a dorayaki shop, a sweet filled with 'an' (the reason for its original title), an old lady that appears out of nowhere and tries to convince him to employ her at his shop, and a young high school student who has her own problems with her family. Little by little, they become close to each other, a bond is created and they get a glimpse into their respective pasts.
Naomi Kawase normally does slow-burning movies, with a relaxed atmosphere, long takes and centering on the actors and their exchanges. "Sweet Bean" is not an exception and the actors answer with great performances all around (even sometimes histrionic Kirin Kiki, here very tone down and contemplative). The plot may seem simple, but it has different layers, which will grip the viewer, making them not only enjoy, but also think.
There are a couple of shaky points, though. First, the pace suffers in some moments, being a little bit brusque, some plot developments a little bit out of the blue. The second is that the last act is a little bit overlong and/or in-your-face.
"Sweet Bean" will be enjoyed by everyone. And make you hungry.
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