Father (Sô Yamamura) and Daughter-In-Law (Setsuko Hara)

This film is very Ozu-like. It’s family oriented, it stars Setusuko Hara, it stitches the scenes together with shots of train tracks and telephone poles, etc. However, Ozu always managed to tread a fine line between drama and melodrama or soap opera. This film crossed over into soap opera territory where it subsequently lost me and my friend.

It’s about a family that is made up of the father, the mother, the daughter, the baby, the daughter-in-law, and the son. The drama comes from the relationship between the daughter-in-law and the son. The son is sleeping around and we think that is the reason for the daughter-in-law’s unhappiness. It is, but wait she also is carrying a child. But wait, she also has an abortion. But wait, there is even more drama to put stress on the family and the audience making the film a bit much.

Ultimately, the film resolves like some of Ozu’s films do, with an uncomfortable but necessary solution. It’s ok, but you’d be better off seeing When A Woman Ascends The Stairs for a Naruse film and a genuine Ozu film instead of this one. However, it’s still worth a look.

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