“You said that you would do anything for me; now you only want to get rid of me!”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
He argues that “Naruse wanted the misery of Takamine and the women who are exploited by insensitive men to reflect the depressed, defeated country,” and asserts that Naruse “believed that the widespread ill-treatment of women was the reason postwar Japan was such a miserable place.” He points out that the “direction by Naruse is typically unobtrusive,” with the camera rarely moving “away from the actors” — but he notes that rather than “being static,” this “unusual film” has “a distinct romantic flow,” and we “feel deeply about what happens to these interesting people.”
I agree with Peary’s points. These flawed characters — who often don’t make “smart” decisions, instead basing their responses on passion or familiarity — feel very real. To that end, however, viewers should be forewarned that the storyline is almost relentlessly bleak; there are no easy solutions or outcomes for these protagonists.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments: