Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB
Original title: Banshun
Japan, 1949. Shôchiku Eiga. Screenplay by Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda, based on the novel Chichi to Musume by Kazuo Hirotsu. Cinematography by Yuharu Atsuta. Produced by Takeshi Yamamoto. Music by Senji Ito. Production Design by Tatsuo Hamada. Costume Design by Bunjiro Suzuki. Film Editing by Yoshiyasu Hamamura.
A father greatly wishes for his only daughter to be happily married, despite the fact that she thinks marriage for women is “life’s graveyard”. In order to encourage her, he pretends that he himself is entertaining the thought of re-marriage years after the death of his beloved wife, therefore not being in need of his daughter to take care of him. She, however, is not only bound to him as a caregiver but really just doesn’t want the life that she is enjoying to change for what she feels will not be an improvement. Chishû Ryû and Setsuko Hara, in one of her most mercurial performances, as father and daughter find both the poignancy and the land mines in their relationship, constantly turning between affection and frustration as they veer back and forth in their selfish and selfless reasons for taking the actions that they do. Yasujiro Ozu was really beginning to develop the physically subtle but emotionally devastating masterpieces with which he would litter the fifties; the rewards for watching this sweet tale of family love are enormous.
The Criterion Collection: #331