Tuesday, February 21, 2017

After the Storm (2016) Japan

A mother's one final push to save her son's marriage.

Original title:
Umi yori mo mada fukaka (Japanese)


Approximately 6-minute read.

     Remarkable consistency in delivering great dramas. If you are a drama film fan without the language barrier, then you must have seen at least a couple of films of Hirokazu Koreeda. Less than a year ago I saw his new arrival 'Our Little Sister'. Despite not overwhelmingly impressed with that, I won't say that I did not enjoy it. I always fascinated with the realistic portrayal, but the points should be executed so well than leaving empty scenes and dialogues, and calling it an art film. This one was much better. The first impression was okay, but after giving some time between my watch and writing this review, I kind of started to like it more.

     First of all, this story was not new for me. I have already seen a few similar themed films from other parts of the world, particularly in Hollywood. But none of them were as serious as this one while narrating its tale. The storyline was simple, entirely focused on a family, fighting on stumbling marriage. It was a long introduction, particularly aimed at a father, like how he messed up in his life with gambling. But opening few minutes made him look like a man of example. Only in the following event you would know how deep his troubles are.

     Other than his family, his work field was introduced to us. Being a writer, but for a few quick bucks working as a private eye on his part time, he misuses the opportunity with his loyal friend. Once the film reaches the half way mark, the focus shifts back to the family where the remaining story takes place. It was a stormy day and they all gather in his mother's apartment. This is where everything will be cleared out, whether the marriage will be saved or not. But the mother's one final push as it seems planned perfectly, would it deliver a result is what you should watch it to learn.

 I wonder why it is that men can't love the present. Either they just keep chasing whatever it is they've lost, or they keep dreaming beyond their reach. 

     You can't doubt Hiroshi Abe's presence. He was perfect along with Kirin Kiki, whose a few films I've seen before, but only started to notice recently with her amazing performance from 'Sweet Bean'. The casting looked great, and the locations. I always like films about elderly people, especially to highlight their struggle. And most of the Japanese films I have seen on that concept were just like the way I wanted. Maybe because there are lots of aging people in Japan than anywhere else. Just kidding.

     Obviously dialogues are very important for a film and there were many good lines spoken. At one point in the final stage, it flips towards sentiments. Very touching conversation, particularly coming from an old and experienced woman, which is definitely worth taking heed. This is a family film. Despite about a marriage crisis, there is no speculation, like twist and turns. Interesting enough with its plain narration. True to its title and when the title part comes into play, that's where it gets its peak. With its nearly two hours runtime, the pace was acceptable, but patience needed for those got trouble with long films.

     This is the film about our life, that we can try for what we want to be, but achieving it not easy, not everybody would succeed that. Accepting the fact, as life my go on was the message. Incredible writing and direction. Feels like straight out of a book, it's an original screenplay though. Surely you don't want to miss this film, from this director. Because if you do, it is equal to failing to watch the latest Woody Allen film. Only he's a Japanese version. My final words are the director already made his masterpiece(s), but still it is near to one compared to the international cinemas. So I'm not saying it is a must, but surely worth a try.

Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All

Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent

Similar movies:
Sweet Bean, Our Little Sisters, That Evening Sun, A Simple Life, The Auction.

External link(s):

WCA geolocation:
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