Ryota is a successful workaholic businessman. When he learns that his biological son was switched with another boy after birth, he faces the difficult decision to choose his true son or the boy he and his wife have raised as their own.
Twelve-year-old Koichi, who has been separated from his brother Ryunosuke due to his parents' divorce, hears a rumor that the new bullet trains will precipitate a wish-granting miracle when they pass each other at top speed.
Members of a cult, modeled on Aum Shinrikyo, sabotage a city's water supply, then commit mass suicide near the shores of a lake. Family members of those affected by it meet at the lake to observe the anniversary of their loved ones' deaths.
Dwelling on his past glory as a prize-winning author, Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) wastes the money he makes as a private detective on gambling and can barely pay child support. After the death of his father, his aging mother (Kirin Kiki) and beautiful ex-wife (Yoko Make) seem to be moving on with their lives. Renewing contact with his initially distrusting family, Ryota struggles to take back control of his existence and to find a lasting place in the life of his young son (Taiyo Yoshizawa) - until a stormy summer night offers them a chance to truly bond again.Written by
Albeit released later, this film wrapped earlier than Koreeda's previous film Our Little Sister (2015). The month-and-a-half filming of After the Storm took place starting in May 2014 in between the production of Our Little Sister, which was shot throughout a year. See more »
There are not many directors whose films I greet with enthusiasm, let alone Japanese ones. I think Hirokazu Koreeda is the only one. His films are a different breed - simple in design, but brilliant in architecture and sublime in closure.
Koreeda is the leading exponent in contemplative cinema. Under his minimalist approach, the essence of familial life and couplehood is distilled into abstract thoughts lingering like warm tendrils wrapped around your mind. The movie may be over but it refuses leave the confines of your consciousness and you would want to surrender to its warm lull again. The tone of After the Storm is pitch-perfect - nobody screams in your face, there are no pointing fingers, no low brow soap-opera. The acting is exquisite and nuanced. What is not said speaks louder than what is uttered. There is humour of the familiar kind; it is the kind of humour you laughed heartily because it is so familiar and you recognise the situations because you have gone through them before. There are not many filmmakers who are as sensitive as Koreeda. Above all else, this is a director who listens to characters' inner thoughts and emotions like an old master piano tuner and he knows how to calibrate the performances for everlasting emotional heft. For Koreeda, it is always about the small moments leading to the big truths.
After the Storm is not one of Koreeda's best films (it needlessly took too long to establish Ryota's character) but it easily transcends way above all the flashy films that inundate our cinemas like ants to candies. I wish I had a notebook last night because some of the metaphors are amazing. Here is one, asseverated by the grandmother Yoshiko, "The longer a stew sits, the more flavour it develops, just like people."
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