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The manager of a pancake stall finds himself confronted with an odd but sympathetic elderly woman looking for work. A taste of her homemade red bean paste convinces him to hire her, which starts a relationship that is about much more than just street food.Written by
I went into Sweet Bean blind, knowing only that it featured the titular sweet bean paste of the title. What a delightful little film it is!
It's an unusual tale about three loners all drawn together in a dorayaki shop. Sentarô is a, gloomy middle aged chef, who works at a small middling dorayaki shop, making the pancakes and sweet bean paste that comprise the dorayakis. His shop is attended daily by a teenage girl, Wakana, whose mother does not value higher education and wants her to get a job as soon as possible. One day an elderly woman, Tokue, appears, wanting to work in the shop and claiming it has always been her dream to do so. Sentarô turns her away gently, but when she returns and offers him a sample of her sweet bean paste he is moved by her product and hires her to work with him.
Like many films about cuisine this film will whet your appetite. I've never eaten dorayaki but there were so many great shots of the making of the food that I was hungry after watching it.
All of Kawase's films are lovely and this one is no exception. The film is contemplative without feeling slow. I've read reviews that say it is more accessible than her other films and it definitely seems that way to me. A good place to start with her filmography if you haven't seen in any of her films before.
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