Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
Original title: Konjiki Yasha
Japan, 1954. Daiei Studios. Screenplay by Koji Shima, adaptation by Matsutaro Kawaguchi, based on a novel by Koyo Ozaki. Cinematography by Michio Takahashi. Produced by Masaichi Nagata. Music by Ichiro Saito.
Enjoyable melodrama from Japan is notable for its strikingly rich colour cinematography. A young woman in love with a man who has yet to make his fortune allows herself to be pressured by her family into marrying a rich suitor instead, and ends up miserable with him when he turns out to be abusive. Meanwhile, the spurned lover is so destroyed by his heartbreak that he ceases all contact with his friends, drops his studies and becomes the apprentice of a money lender. His ruthless tactics make him rich and he is soon being pursued by a beautiful loan shark who wants to keep him for herself. Will the two young lovers both be destroyed by the love of money, or do they still have torches burning for each other that could save them? Of course love is the answer, but while you’re waiting for it the complications raise some pretty interesting questions. A surprisingly positive love story considering that Japanese tales of unrequited love usually tread on the more tragic side of things.