Friday, 29 July 2016

MIFF MOVIE REVIEW: AFTER THE STORM (UMI YORI MO MADA FUKAKU)




 

7/10

Ryota is a middle aged man who is frustrated with his life. Many years ago he had high expectations of becoming a famous writer and had even published an award winning novel. Now he is working part time in a detective agency, pretending it's a research for his new book, he spends time gambling and spying on his ex wife who since had moved on with a new man. Why did his future turn out like this? An approaching storm will reunite him with his ex wife and his son for one night at his mother's apartment. Will they finally find understanding and what happens next when the morning breaks?

Reflecting of how one sometimes has to let go of some ambition to enjoy everyday life, the movie contemplates that people need time to develop their "flavour". Just like a stew, as the mother of the main character wisely admits.

AFTER THE STORM is a subtle drama, a very Japanese movie which unfolds slowly, taking time introducing the characters and situations. It is not a crowd pleaser by any means, but if you give it time to develop you will be pleasantly surprised by the funny dialogue and the discovery of authentic daily life in modern Japan.

Actor Hiroshi Abe is too tall and too good looking to play a down on luck hubby struggling the ends meet. But he is a good actor and does his best. The movie is for the lovers of Japanese cinema and would hardly appeal to a broad audience. Taking part in this year's special Cannes presentation "Un Certain Regard", an unofficial line up for "original and different" films, says exactly that: it is a movie for movie lovers. It is not nearly boring, but requires your full attention from the beginning till the end, that maybe too much to ask for a modern drama lover.


Quick facts:

Story takes place in director's hometown Kiyose, a suburbia of Tokyo.

The low renting houses where film is shot are called “danchi”, a sort of equivalent of Australian cheap townhouse apartments.

Japanese title is different from the international release and is taken from the song by pop idol Teresa Teng and means "deeper than the sea";

On its opening weekend at the Japanese box office the film was 5th in the charts;



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