Director Mikio Naruse has admitted to going through a dark period as a younger man and his 1958 film Anzukko (the first he is credited with writing after 1950’s White Beast) seems, in part, his way of dealing with the tortures of his past.
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In Naruse's gallery of sad-sack men, the husband here may take the prize: an alcoholic, would-be writer (no one can tell him to his face he's no good) married to Kagawa Kyoko's daddy's girl - daddy, an esteemed writer he resents. And one asks why Kagawa sticks with him. And one realizes that despite the "good wife" facade it may just be that she's the really sinister one here. A film of hidden depths.
This finds Naruse dealing with complex themes of marriage, artistic failure, disillusionment, alcohol abuse and the human ability to cope and eventually to try and heal wounds. Set in a beautiful, rural landscape, the first part of the film is filled with a glimpsed-happiness, of biking along country roads, but descends into a moving study of a wife standing by her failed husband as he sinks lower into depression.