Tokyo Monogatari or Tokyo Story is one of those films with a rep bigger than you. Yasujiro Ozu’s 1953 masterpiece depicts an elderly couple travelling to Tokyo to visit their children, who’ve all grown up. There, they learn that their kids aren’t too keen on taking care of them and are already busy or hard pressed for money. The only one who seems to care is Noriko, their daughter-in-law whose husband died back during the war.

The film is a look at postwar Japan and her modernization and at the same time, a lament on the dying of tradition, values and the family. Whilst it’s set in Japan, it’s really something that’s quite a universal concept, that of change itself and it’s unrelenting pace. Man’s constant need to evolve, adapt and survive sometimes erodes the very things that make us human after all.

It’s also a really ultra sad type show, something that always daunted me. Pretty sure I made it through this time third time round. The first 2 times, I just didn’t feel like I had the emotive capacity to accept the film. Right now, given the timing of things in my own life, the film hits a little close to the bone.

You feel bad for the old couple because they came with high hopes and an optimism, yet they have to succumb to the acceptance that things never turn out the way you hope. It’s relent voiced in a stark, minimalist way that really conveys more than just the pure image alone. There’s also the ultra sad plot twist thingy that just screams “DRAMA!”. Yes, this is one of those shows. Tear shedding is guaranteed.

I totally wanna like, marry Noriko.

Advertisements