Mercy II

film 3 of 4

Tokyo Story

Draft Review by Dean Duncan Mar 28, 2015

Unsurprisingly, it’s slow—unsurprisingly, it’s very satisfyingly so; one thinks first of King Lear (or Leo McCarey’s Make Way for Tomorrow!), what with all these nasty offspring, but the thundering on the heath never arrives; rather, everything just kind of whispers in a sad and lovely way;

Particulars: the hairdresser daughter is especially irksome, the poor daughter-in-law—Setsuko Hara!—who’s the only one to show filial duty is very touching, especially with all the disppointment and forebearance that trembles around her smile, the scene where she compassionately explains to the bitter youngest daughter her siblings’ unnaturalness at the mother’s death is remarkably perceptive (fear of our own frailty), and the climax when she receives the watch and breaks down is justifiably celebrated; Ozu’s still lifes and static set-ups are beautiful, even if it’s a cliché to point it out