Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will be hungry for real ramen!, May 24, 2004
This review is from: Tampopo (DVD)
It can be very difficult to describe this movie and what the premise or plot is. Oh, there is the central plot, make no mistake, but the entirity of the film is a flurry of sub-stories and vignettes that act like ingredients to the ever-present ramen (Japanese noodle soup) otherwise known as this brilliant gem out of Japan. The bottom line, the final product is a fancifal tale based around food and how our lives are encompassed by it, how we struggle with it, and most importantly how integral it is to human beings on the whole.
Tampopo also is an homage film to a few genres depending on the scene. For example, Goro (an obvious samurai reference) drives into town on a truck... with cow horns on the top! He wears the cowboy hat constantly and those themes are as thick as the noodles he's seeking out. There is also a tribute to Chaplin/Keaton and the silent comedies with one of the vagabonds in his efforts to make a rice omelette. There are a few mob movie shots as well, including the semi-narrator or guide of the man in the white suit. Beyond celebrating these genres, though, as well as film itself, this really is a story about food.
Tampopo is a widowed soup cook who can't really make soup. Ramen, one of the staple Japanese foods, is as varied and unique in stores throughout the town as there are chicken soup recipes in the US. She can't seem to make a good bowl, though, and Goro feeling bad for her, decides to stay on and help her out with the help of his sidekick Gun. Along the way, they pick up a colorful band of characters each with his own addition to the recipe and technique that helps Tampopo understand the importance of finding that perfect bowl of Ramen.
Light-hearted, more than a bit hilarious, and full of twists and turns, Tampopo is definitely one of the best movies to come out of Japan. Aside from comedy or possibly drama, one would be hard-pressed to try to define this movie as the movie more defines itself and others like it. A life story for sure, definitely a good laugh, and a little eye-opening at times, too. Not for children, though, as there is some nudity and minor violence. Film buffs should already own this movie and anyone else who has a love of film or a desire for one of the most fun movies ever made, pick this one up. You will not be disappointed. Enjoy!
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