This is perhaps the most difficult time I've ever had watching any Ozu film to date. It usually takes me a while to watch any of his works (damn my generation's crappy attention span), but I greatly enjoy the experience and feel like a richer person. I found this film to be, quite simply, dull and unengaging. A significant factor in that is the garbage picture quality and sound mix. It isn't bad, but I did not enjoy.
Un capolavoro a macchina fissa. O quasi. Ozu delizia con i suoi soliti temi di una semplicità meravigliosa e la sua maestria nello sfruttare la profondità di campo, mentre mette in piedi una delle sue inconfondibili perle, pietre miliari del cinema nipponico. Ancora una volta il "Maestro" spiega magistralmente perché merita un tale epiteto.
Ozu narrative system is already well established and let's say that it's one of the most astounding ever achieved: each narrative sequence almost coincide with the duration of a single shot, in a structure that could be called "natural", fluent as oxygenation. It turns out that in this film the moralizing penchant overlaps such flow and leads to an annoyance that confronts the ideological structure of who sees it.
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.
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.