Snobbish uptown lady Taeko is bored with her countrybred, taciturn husband Mokichi. She makes up lame lies to steal away with her friends to a hot spring resort, where she publicly dismisses him as “Mr Insensitive”. Their marital discord comes to a head when Taeko discovers that Mokichi was complicit in her niece’s walk-out from her arranged date. She runs off after having a fit over Mokichi’s uncouth eating habits, unaware that he will be posted overseas. But over a bowl of ochazuke, she comes to appreciate his down-to-earth philosophy. —Ozu-san.com
Yasujiro Ozu was born in the old Fukagawa district of Tokyo, to a fertilizer merchant, in 1903. In 1923, after a couple of years as an assistant teacher in rural Japan, Ozu was hired as assistant cameraman at the Shochiku Motion Picture Company. Early in his career, Ozu began to experiment with an idiosyncratic film style that ran contrary to the conventions of Japanese or Hollywood cinema of the day. He strove to reduce and simplify his film style; he cast such mainstays as the fade, the dissolve, and the pan from his cinematic palette. He shot solely from a low camera angle, using a 50mm lens, and he subordinated spatial continuity to visual aesthetics. Ozu directed his first film in 1927,The Sword of Penitence. In 1932, he began to hit his creative stride with the touching comedy I Was Born, But…, which was his first commercial success. During World War II, he made few films such as There Was a Father.
After the war, Ozu reached his creative peak and made some of his finest… read more
Considering he was a lifelong bachelor, Ozu isn't the best director of marital trouble films (look to Naruse for that), but this lesser film, made between the masterpieces "Early Summer" and "Tokyo Story", about an arranged marriage on rocky grounds, is interesting nonetheless.
I burned my tongue yesterday and grew new taste buds today. This is probably the oddest film I've seen from Ozu-san, so much dynamic movement! Travelling shots in cars, in trains, of planes taking off, dolly shots in the house, it's almost overwhelming. Yet still a great portrayal of a middle of the road relationship reflecting on a new one about to form.