Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Japanese Story

A Film by Sue Brooks
Written by Alison Tilson
Starring Toni Collette and Gotaro Tsunashima
Sony Pictures, 2003

This review may be a little late. I saw it in the theater when it came out- a year before I started this blog! I ran across the DVD in the thrift store the other day and brought it home to watch it again. The film had haunted me over the years, especially Toni Collette's portrayal of an Australian geologist who gets stuck with the job of transporting a junior executive (the son of the owner of a Japanese mining company) across the Outback. I'm usually wary of cross-cultural films (and the usual tropes of cultural misunderstandings are all here), but as the story develops this mismatched couple overcomes these and other hurdles and develop an odd but strangely liberated relationship. This is no ordinary love story, and just when you begin to think you've figured it out the plot takes a wrenching turn. The ending of the film is devastating.

To say any more would be a disservice to anyone who hasn't seen it. It is haunting, however, and it made me reflect on the way men and women relate to each other, and how fate can sometimes be impassively cruel. It is not an action movie, but if you are in the mood for a meditation on love and life, this might be the film for you.

By Professor Batty


Blogger Mary said...

Oh, it's a while since I thought about this unforgettable movie - very good and a stunner!

Blogger Professor Batty said...

Mary ~ there are very few films that have that kind of emotional power. Bergman's The Virgin Spring and Persona are a couple.

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