8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A quiet story...,
This review is from: Tokyo Story (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
As a fan of Asian cinema, I'm ashamed to admit I've gone this long without seeing one Ozu film. But finally the wait for me is over, and I've had the pleasure of watching A Tokyo Story. What can I say about it that hasn't already been said a thousand times over by other reviewers?
The plot is well known enough: an elderly couple plan a trip to Tokyo only to find themselves more of a burden than a pleasure to be with their selfish children. Their son, a neighborhood doctor, has patients to care for, and their daughter, a beautician, would rather work than entertain her family.
It's a simple enough plot that if made today would have probably escalated into a dramatic scene of a family pitted against each other, telling the wrongs of one another. But nothing of the sort happens. Instead what we get is a resignation to indifferences, and the acceptance of the idea that "it could be worse...".
Plot aside, there are some beautiful scenes in this movie. One of the elderly couple sitting together, facing the sea, two people all alone in a large world. All of the shots of the caring daughter in law are breathtaking. She's a beautiful woman on the inside, and I think Ozu highlighted this fact with every scene that she was in. She smiles for her in laws, but when they turn away she's on the verge of tears, overwhelmed by her own misguided guilt.
Tokyo Story is a slow moving film, but many things develop in that time. It's a true to life tale, where some don't realize how good they are, while others never learn to think beyond their own desires.