Friday, February 06, 2009

Tokyo Story: Blood is not Always Thicker than Water



I just watched one of the most heart wrenching movies, "Tokyo Story" (1953) directed by Yasujiro Ozo. The film is about an elderly couple who travel from their faraway village to the big city of Tokyo to see their children. None of their children are especially welcoming when they arrive, no one wants to take time out of their busy lives to show their parents the city and it is finally their widowed daughter-in-law who takes a day off from work to show them the sights and make their visit a nice one. Their other two children want to be rid of them so they pool their money to send their parents to a spa but the don't stay long as it is filled with loud young people and they don't get any rest. They go back to Tokyo and once again, and it is their daughter-in-law (played by the lovely Setsuko Hara) who welcomes them and gives them what their own children are too selfish to give. Their grandchildren have no interest in them at all and are spoiled brats. On the long trip home, the elderly couple stop off in another city when the wife becomes ill and stay with another son who also finds them to be a big bother. I don't want to say any more and give away the ending for those who haven't seen it. The film is in black and white but the patterns of the kimonos were all so beautiful and one that was worn by the mother looks similar to the pattern of one I bought two years ago on a trip to Seattle, WA. Ozo made some really great post war films, I've already seen "Late Spring" and next to watch is "Early Summer". I don't know what it is about February that makes me watch such tragic films.

2 comments:

Elizabeth Bauman said...

That sounds so sad! Hope they leave their money to that daughter-in-law...

pelao said...

a great film!