Another of those glorious blighted-marriage-going-nowhere-but-with-a-fading-glint-of-hope Naruse movies ... and another one featuring Setsuko Hara. She is the best actress of the pull between opening up and concealing. She constructs an interiority w/ peerless finesse. Naruse is like Fassbinder in that it is hard to pinpoint any particular masterpiece as the films are all so much of a piece. Sad but consoling. Truth.
This is one of my favorite Naruses. This film shows why Ozu and Kurosawa so greatly respected Naruse. Setsuko is wonderful (as always) and the relationship between her character and the father-in-law played by So Yamamura is incredibly moving. I would recommend this as an introduction for those unfamiliar with the director who would like to explore his work.
Quietude and small indications mount past the foreground of a falling marriage, proposing an "unobstructed view" of sexual repression. Naruse’s anti-Ozu subversion provides a clandestine option of interpretation in the nuance of undercurrent deviancy, as the noh mask of childlike kindness ensconces a deprived thirst within. “If one takes great pains to create a vista, one can see hidden depths.”
!!!! could easily see this compared to late spring but less simple, less like a knife cutting through apple skin. kindness creates problems, people are victims of each other (victims can also be perpetrators), all of us are on the side of breathtaking tenderness, even the right thing can cause pain
A very interesting film, because it posits the idea that the "good" and "nice" people in a film (here Kikuko and Shingo) can be unintenionally troublesome to other characters (like Shuichi), who at first glance -but only at that level- appear "bad" and "cruel". It's a dichotomy that can be applied to many other films, and is a kind of schema -here done so well- that has really entirely changed how I look at films.