Mikio Naruse’s earliest film in circulation is a charming, breezy short about an impoverished insurance salesman, Okabe, who is desperate to sell a policy to a wealthy family, and his scrappy young son.
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I was really surprised at how fantastic this film was. I was really very moved. It starts comedic and light then just hits you across the face with some superb dramatic elements. It ain't Naruse's best film, no way, but it's really much better than I supposed it would be. 4/5
Loved this intro to the Naruse universe. The great dichotomy of comedy and drama and the experimental sequences used appropriately. Does really have a very charming quality about it that comes from the range of emotions.
eerie near miss. insurance salesman's care for another child in place of his own recalls nannies, wet nurses, other women who have done the same for rich children. poverty horror couched in uneasy comedy
Some Chaplin-worthy business here. And Naruse's already on about his pet themes (namely, how brutal getting along in this life can be), though the ending is very unlike him, in that it doesn't take its chance to be utterly devastating.