Monday, February 15, 2010
Ryuhei is an Administrative Manager who suddenly loses his job due to availability of cheaper employees from China. This is the beginning of a storm in this middle class family. He is unable to face his family with this news and continues to dress up and leave the house at the usual time, spending his time in long queues of job hunters or sitting in parks, and eating in a soup kitchen. He encounters a school mate in the same situation, who later resorts to a dire remedy. Ryuhei has to face the humiliation of a menial job. The drama is beautifully resolved and the family rediscovers a new dignity and happiness.
Not the least of the pleasures of the film was the sights and sounds of life in Tokyo and its suburbs: the undulating lanes, screaming trains, neat and cramped dwellings, and people not too different from elsewhere.It is like taking an aimless walk around the town with a person with nothing to do.
An enjoyable and informative film which deals deftly and delicately with universal problems of ordinary people in a capitalistic society, with the timely background of current economic realities. The younger of Ryuhei's two children is musically gifted and this is a point of convergence of the film. In fact the film has the lightness and refined harmony of the piano performance which concludes it.
Roger Ebert's review