After the Storm Review – After the Storm is a Japanese drama film released in 2016. Ryota, a prize-winning author, and a private detective wastes money and cannot make ends meet to pay for his child support. He gets to spend a night together with his family on a stormy night, the night brings in a change in him.
I got to watch this one in Bangalore International Film Festival. The movie very beautifully narrates the events that happen in the between the members of the family. The screenplay spends some time to establish the characters, their habits and the problems in life. It gets very intense once it has all of them inside the house during a storm. The movie touches upon many things including the addiction to gambling, self-centered parenting, kids craving for love from the parents. The memories of Ryota’s childhood brings back a new perspective into their life.
Kirin Kiki has performed very well as Ryota’s mom and she steals the show. I had liked her performance in An and I could see the same level of intensity in this role too. Hiroshe Abe has also performed well. His transformation from a gambling addict has been portrayed well. Amidst of all the chaos, there is still a lot of humor that will make you laugh.
High Points: Very strong plot is a strength backed by the performance of Kirin Kiki and Hiroshe Abe. The night the family spends at home is a high point.
Low Points: The first half seems a little drag as the movie establishes the lead characters.
Overall After the storm is a movie that will touch your heart and bring in new reflections over life. You can watch it for the strong performances of the lead characters and the sweet message it carries.
Worth a Watch
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.
Suspect X Review – Suspect X (titled as Yôgisha X no kenshin) is a Japanese thriller released in 2008. Ishigami a Mathematical genius and a high school teacher try to save his neighbor a divorcee woman and her daughter from being convicted for a murder.
This is the movie that is been widely talked about nowadays that shares similar plot lines with Drishyam. However both movies are different but for the fact that a murder is being concealed by creating alternative evidences. But for that both these are very different movies. You could see it for yourself.
Now coming to the Suspect X movie, the movie is a very gripping tale of fight between two great scientific minds the genius mathematician and the charismatic physics professor. This is based on the popular Japanese TV series Galileo. The screenplay is very crisp and precise. Keeps the interest level flowing throughout. There are many scenes that create the thrills and the movie reaches a different level as the climax unfolds. Everything connects together. Till then the movie is both intellectual and emotional roller coaster ride. Anything more I say here would become a spoiler in the movie.
If you are a screenwriter and looking for ideas to keep the screenplay precise then this movie is a great example. Although mention of many places occurs in the screenplay, there is no visual until there is a strong requirement for the visual to move the story ahead. In the first five minutes you would get acclimatized with the main characters of the movie and from then on the director can concentrate on developing the plot.
Overall if you like detective thrillers then you would enjoy this one. This is much different from your standard detective thrillers but a strong dual of intellectual personalities.