Tokyo Story (1953)


Rating: 5/10

Director: Ozu Yasujiro

Disclaimer: my ratings are purely personal and is only indicative on my subjective enjoyment of the film. (Even then, or perhaps even more so, I know I’m gonna be bashed for this.) 

Even if this 1953 greatly-hailed-classic was not black & white, I would have found it too slow to be enjoyable.

The story is simple. An aged couple visits their children in Tokyo, and then heads home. Through the narrative, the film contrasts the filial impiety of the couple’s biological children with the compassion of the couple’s non-blood-related, widowed daughter-in-law.

Critics rave about the cinematography. I know nuts about these things so I shall reveal my ignorance no more.

What was perhaps a bit more accessible was the layered richness of the film’s portrayal of Japanese culture, which is often non-verbal, indirect and subtle. (The emphasis here is a bit; I would have been lost without the readings to analyze the film’s non-explicit elements because of the high-context nature of the Japanese society.) Suffice to say that the film was only bearable because of the readings, which I did concurrently while watching the film; they explained the film’s richness that gave it its 99/100 IMDB critic review.


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About Mel

I dreamt I was a whale.