This film is a funny one. It has its moments, and those moments really come in the middle of the film, but sometimes they didn't find the punch that they needed for it to really work. I was moved overall, and I liked Naruse's direction, but it didn't feel as great as Apart From You. 4/5
great graphic matches, mirror work, disorienting blurs, quick cuts, symbolic flourishes, framing... in other words fun camerawork and while the ending rode on another bedside scene... by diverting the story we arrived somewhere more interesting, more nuanced
I can probably credit Naruse for inventing the ensemble film: even the supporting characters here get their moments, and the "leads" seem to move in and out of the center. However, unlike "Apart from You," this one feels like two different parts that do not quite come together for me. The dancehall scenes and the father-son stuff was great, but the ending seemed cheap and unconvincing to me.
I find this a quietly brilliant film. The excellent use of chiaroscuro and symbols make it very enjoyable. A realist masterpiece depicting hardship and the importance of family. The score by Nitin Sawhney has added another dimension to it.