Mikio Naruse's masterpiece centers around Keiko (Hideko Takamine), a Mama-san in Tokyo's Ginzo district. Naruse gently baits the viewer in to Keiko's life as she faces the twilight of her career and before you know it you are emeshed in her life as she ponders the choices that face her. Tatsuya Nakadai plays the bar manager and like the work, his role too is of being in the background. Sometimes playing second fiddle when you are weighed down by talent is difficult. But the man pulls it off with a lazy elegance like a David Gower in his prime. He in my opinion is more widely accomplished actor than Toshirô Mifun. To sum it up, a truly devastating piece of film work.
Rating: * * * +