An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city, but receive little attention.An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city, but receive little attention.An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city, but receive little attention.
Consequently I can't really blame several reviewers here for calling this movie boring and slow-paced. But it is not at all slow-paced from a different cultural perspective. It just depends on what you're used to.
If you do take the time to watch and try to understand it, you'll find an engrossing analysis of the dynamic of a middle-class family, the rift that grows up between generations, and of the many excuses we find ourselves making to justify our neglect for others, even those dearest to us. These themes are universal, but are couched in a postwar Japanese idiom, and so probably less accessible to the average Western viewer.
I have wondered awhile about a speech at the end by Noriko, the widowed daughter-in-law, in which she denies that she's such a good person (though her actions in the movie indicate otherwise). I'm still not sure I understand her motives in saying this. For the most part, however, this movie will not leave you puzzled, but it may leave you a bit wiser, and a bit more reluctant to make those excuses.
- May 14, 2002