24 May 2009 | zetes
Slight, but pretty good
Nice little Japanese comedy. Mr. Thank You is a bus driver who often brings people from the country to Tokyo. As he drives along the narrow dirt roads, he profusely thanks the farmers and such who move to the side as he passes them. At one village, he picks up a 17 year old girl and her mother. The girl is being transported to Tokyo, where her mother will sell her into prostitution. It's the Great Depression, and the family can no longer afford to support her. Over the course of the trip, Mr. Thank You becomes more and more aware of the girl's sad face. The rest of the bus chat amongst themselves, drink, smoke, whatever. The film runs about 80 minutes, and, honestly, is pretty slight. The titular character and the young girl are rather dull people. A couple of the other passengers are more interesting, but they also are generic types of people (e.g., modern woman or stuffy businessman). It's funny much of the time, and well filmed. I like seeing the Japanese countryside and its people. Japanese films of every era focus way too much on just Tokyo that it's easy to forget the rest of the country.