Friday, May 11, 2007

Banshun – Late Spring

I had luck to find several of Yasujiro Ozu’s movies and the first one I saw was Banshun.

The story is very simple and lovely. The main character is 27 years old Noriko and she lives with her widowed father. They’ve developed a special bond and, although it’s time for Noriko to get married, she is having a hard time to leave the father. On another side, father will miss the daughter but he is a remarkable and selfless man and he worries about the daughter’s future and happiness.

It was simply poetic and beautiful to watch mutual love, respect and understanding between father and daughter and equally hard to see upcoming events that will change their lives. It was a very touchy experience and I can perfectly understand feelings on both sides.

The closing scenes were especially hard. Everything is said there and without words. It is the heartbreaking moment of solitude at the beginning of changes. It is the moment of realization. Father is sitting and peeling an apple. Waves are breaking on the shore…

Changes are inevitable and painful sometimes, but we must accept changes and embrace them as new opportunities in life. Parting with parents is especially hard because they will love us no matter what while we must somehow deserve the love of all other people we meet. Parents’ love is without demands so to say.

There is one more interesting side of this movie and that is the Japanese postwar lifestyle. The American influence on their culture is obvious. We can see a Coca Cola advertisement for example but there are many indications in general.

Setsuko Hara played Noriko and she was simply lovely! Her smile is so adorable and it will light up your heart. Chishu Ryu played her father. They both have done a wonderful job. Don’t miss it!


the art of memory said...

i just read the donald richie book (well, part of it), it is very good.

Milena said...

I'll try to find some of his books. I know he wrote about Ozu and Kurosawa but unfortunately I didn't read it.