One Japanese movie led to another. This one is not an animation, and I have actually watched it quite some time ago but I still think it’s worth mentioning.
Tokyo Story (Tokyo Monogatari) tells the story of an elderly couple who went to post-world war II Tokyo to visit their children, who had started their own families in the city.
They discovered, however, that their children were too caught up in their daily lives to actually play proper hosts. Instead, they found warmth in the wife of their deceased youngest son.
A simple storyline is made more buoyant due to the dialogs and acting. Expressions are subtle, even overwhelmingly polite. That, along with the mere length of this movie makes it one to watch when you have a spare, quiet time.
The length and subtlety might render this movie trying for those accustomed to watch the likes of Pulp Fiction (which, by the way, is one of my favorites also). However, it is also what makes this movie what it is. Powerful yet far from dramatic. Instead of blatantly portraying the children as ungrateful city folks who lashes out at their parents, Tokyo Story reveals their selfishness in ways that are indirect and perhaps more commonly used in reality.
Which makes the guilt trip all the more painful, I might add! I felt the pang especially when the children agreed to send their parents out to a hot springs resort, thinking that it would be “the best” for them without making sure that they will truly feel comfortable there.
Perhaps choosing to send their parents to the springs was just because they can’t be bothered to host anyway, so they were basically just sending them away. That is very hypocritical, cruel, and yet also…very common practice.
My late grandmother’s birthday was on Tuesday. This is humbly dedicated to her.