A nice road movie clearly bearing Yamada’s signature. Hokkaido makes for a nice scenery and the different characters bonding and getting to know each other kept me interested though I have to admit that I truly cared about the story of Mitsue and Yusako. Yusako did need the crazy Madzda driver and the girl because they cared enough for him to open up. The few scenes with Takakura and Baisho are moving.
3,6 "A child climbs into a cardboard house, Shuts its doors and windows To hold in the dark, and lies on her back Inside, looking up through its cut-out moon And stars. She knows she is not looking At the sky. But she calls out, still, 'It's nighttime! I'm looking at the sky!'"(Astronomer, by Rachel Richardson). Three childless, somewhat childish drifters hop in a carmine Mazda, shut its doors and windows to hold in
4.5. The only outstanding Japanese director of melodramas of the past fifty years. In the Yamadian world everyone's fundamentally decent and every loser deserves a second chance - an unusual position to take in the troubled '70s! Might be hard for some folk to stomach. But to come to a Yamada film after a stretch of sterner stuff can be positively invigorating. The world ain't so bad after all, etc.