Monday, 17 October 2011
Tokyo Sonata 
Kiyoshi Kurosawa (not to be confused with his more famous surname-sake), has become quite a renowned figure in contemporary world cinema. Watching Tokyo Sonata it would be a rather difficult task for one to guess that the director has quite a cult following for his works in the horror genre. Set during the global recession that engulfed numerous countries, including Japan, 2008 onwards, this somber and lyrical drama has as its focus a seemingly normal Japanese family, residing in Tokyo, that starts to come off its seams when the head of the family loses his job – so much so that it nearly gets to the verge of bursting apart. Ryuhei, who was employed in a managerial position in a large corporation, gets downsized, and since he’s ashamed of revealing this information to his doting (albeit, quietly dissatisfied and lonely) wife, he starts acting, on the advice of a fellow downsized friend, as if he’s still employed. The effects of this subterfuge turn out to be devastating for him and his family – not just his wife, but also his two sons who too start drifting apart. Though parts of the movie felt a tad abrupt, and some of the scenes in second half bordered on the corny, this low-key movie was a satisfying watch for me on the whole. The acting of the two lead actors was excellent, and the subtle yet strong emotional undercurrents were quite powerful and compelling on a number of occasions.
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Family Drama/Urban Drama