Sweet Red Bean Paste (An) – Review – An is a Japanese drama film released in 2015. The manager of a small street food place selling doriyaki is contacted by an elderly lady requesting for a job. Although he hesitates first but her skill in making a tastier sweet red bean paste for his doriyaki convinces him to get her onboard. What starts is a relationship that affects his life deeply.
The film addresses a social issue in Japan through the three main characters in the movie. The elderly lady Tokue, the manager of the street food joint and a school girl. All three of them are deprived of something in life and are very lonely. As the movie progresses we learn about each of them and how their lives are similar. Tokue leaves a great wisdom from the live she is leading to both the generations, in turn she also questions the baseless belief of the social issue.
Throughout the movie Director Naomi Kawase has used nature as a metaphor to go through the emotional rides. The performance of Kirin Kiki as Tokue is a very powerful one. She lights up the screen. The way the scenes are constructed has been very effective. The introduction of the characters has been conveyed very precisely in few scenes. The shop manager who does not like talkative girls, the school girl who arrives alone in the shop for lunch builds very effective portrayal of the characters.
High Points: Kirin Kiki’s performance, The visuals and the story addressing a key social issue, The way the food is picturized makes you crave for food
Low Points: The movie tends to deviate from the main storyline a couple of times.
Overall, Director Naomi Kawase has tingled the taste buds of the audience through her Sweer Red Bean Paste. It is a dish that would leave sweetness in your mouth despite the heaviness. Its a must watch for all movie lovers.