Sunday, July 26, 2009

Aruitemo aruitemo (Still Walking)

Ryota (Abe Hiroshi) returns to his parents' home with his new wife Yukari, as the family is holding a memorial for the eldest son who passed away 15 years ago. He is only attending because he feels obliged to. To his father, Ryota can never compare to his late brother, and this has caused bitterness.

As we spend time with this family, tensions arise, problems are discussed and we start to get a glimpse of their lives, their past, and the connections between them. Even if at moments the story seems to be about simple gestures and common life, this well crafted movie is perfect in showing us the feelings and motivations of all the family members. There is no lack of depth or characters neglected.

Above all, this is not the story of a Japanese family; it’s the story of a family, any family, in any part of the world. Even if some aspects can relate to the Japanese culture, most of the relationships and their subtleties are very universal and we all can relate to what is going on. What makes it special is the graceful and yet serious way in which the movie unveils under the unique direction of Hirokazu Kore-eda.

Apparently the story relates closely to Kore-eda´s personal experience and maybe that’s what makes it so real. At times serious, at others funny or endearing, I felt privileged to meet Ryota’s family. Does the movie provide closure? Only the kind of closure we get from life.

Not surprisingly, this movie has received several awards, including Best Director, and in my opinion should not be missed.

Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

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