Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kabei: Our Mother

It is the 1940s and nationalistic fervor is raging across Japan. The Nagomi family's foundation is brutally shaken when the father, Professor Shigeru, is carted off as a thought criminal. The burden of supporting the family falls on his frail wife, Kayo (Sayuri Yoshinaga). She finds buttress from an old student of her husband, Yamazaki played brilliantly by Tadanobu Asano. But the focus of the film is the relationship between the mother and her two young daughters.

I was unsure as to what to expect from Yôji Yamada in his first film after the Samurai trilogy. To make things worse, the film eerily reminded me of Akashadoothu. But difference here was that the sadness was not forced nor did it seem like it was Yamada-san's plan to shove melancholy down our throats. The end result was a natural progression of events that gave us yet another window in to the Japanese psyche.

Rating: * * *

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