Tokyo Story

Bomb Rating: 

This is a movie from the famous Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu. It's sort of about a family: two elderly parents and their adult children. The parents decide to go to Tokyo for a visit, but when they get there, the children are too busy to deal with them, so they pay for them to go off to a spa. The parents go, but come back early, much to the consternation of the kids, who seem like they donât want to be burdened with them.

So, the parents leave and return home. Soon thereafter, the mother falls gravely ill, forcing the children to visit the mother on her deathbed. Once she dies, the kids mourn for a bit, then quickly discuss which possessions of hers they should take back. Then they leave.

Now, I'm sure the Japanese are an emotional people in their own way, but virtually every piece of dialogue in this movie is delivered in exactly the same way (with maybe two exceptions), regardless of whether itâs a greeting of joy or a lament about the relationship between parents and their ungrateful kids. Particularly annoying is the father who smiles through the entire movie whether heâs visiting Tokyo or his wife is dying.

Overall, this is an extremely long movie to make the simple point that kids grow apart from their parents.

DVD Comments: This 2-disc Criterion DVD set features audio commentary by Ozu film scholar David Desser. The second DVD features a 1983 film titled "I Lived But..." a two-hour documentary about the life and career of Ozu. It also features a 40-minute 1993 film tribute to Ozu featuring reflections from directors Stanley Kwan, Aki Kaurismaki, Claire Denis, Lindsay Anderson, Paul Schrader, Wim Wenders and Hou Hsiao-hsien.

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