Well, I have only seen this film out of all the Tora-san series, and I'm not sure whether that makes me too ignorant of the rest of the series to review this film, or in fact, puts me in the perfect unbiased state to review this. Either way, there seems to be no reviews of this movie here, so mine should at least be better than none.
I had seen Yoji Yamada's samurai films, the Twilight Samurai and Hidden Blade before this, the latter I really enjoyed. I do believe he is an excellent director, although an unoriginal one. In Tora-san number 48, not a lot happens. Tora-san isn't even in it for about half of it. So don't expect too much of him. I really thought the plot with his nephew in the first half was more interesting than Tora-san's story, and there are a few interesting scenes, including a wedding scene. But the 2nd half seems to just slowly fizzle out. There's just not enough material for Yamada to work with. Instead of entertaining us, his long takes begin to seem obvious, and he begins to look like some third-rate Yasujiro Ozu, being not quite as effective to a story that has very little to it.
If the rest of the series is similar to this film, I will be scratching my head as to why it is so popular.
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