13 September 2015 | zetes
A touching drama at its center, but it jams too many subplots into its 74 minute runtime
This family melodrama has a lot of good stuff in it, but it also has some rather poor stuff, too. And, for a 74 minute film, let's just say it has way too much stuff in it altogether! Yoshiko Kuga stars as the wife of a lowly salaryman (Shoichi Sato) who is desperate to schmooze his way to the top. He proposes letting his employer rent their modest home for the summer. He'll stay at his friend's apartment, and his wife and young son will stay at her mother's house in the country. There Kuga befriends a middle-aged, unemployed veteran (not sure of the actor's name) with a young daughter and a frequently absent wife (working as a barmaid, she basically employs him as a babysitter and has little to no affection for him). Now, if the film had focused solely on the relationship between Kuga and the veteran, this might have been an excellent little drama. Unfortunately, about a dozen other characters are thrown in and we get subplots about Sato's careerism, Kuga's brother's relationship drama, and a group of yakuza vacationing in the country town. Kinoshita's direction is quite good - the film improbably climaxes with an action sequence that actually is very well done - and the color cinematography is very beautiful. So, in the end, this is kind of a disappointment, but I don't at all regret watching it.