Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad (2007) (Japan)

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Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad (2007) (Japan)

Postby hengcs » Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:00 am

Director: Joji Matsuoka
Cast: Joe Odagiri, Kirin Kiki, Yayako Uchida, Takako Matsu, Kaoru Kobayashi, Hiroyuki Hirayama, Yoshiyoshi Arakawa, Tamae Ando, Akira Emoto, Junko Emoto

This film garnered the Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and numerous awards in the recent Japan Academy Awards.

The trailer

Based on the best selling auto-biographical novel by Lili Franky, it tells the story of a man and his dying mother ... She took care of him and stood by him when he was young. Now that she is dying, it is time for him to take care of her ...

My Thoughts

- It is one of those films where nothing much will grip you DURING the film (because it is plain like daily lives), yet something may simply linger on after the film is over. I was initially anticipating for something drastic/dramatic/daring/defying/etc to occur ... but nope, nothing.

In the earlier days, you can tell the mum was a good mum (not a perfect mum). But there is no over the top incident or heroic deeds. It is a story that many mum can relate to, the quiet support for a son's future. The father drank a lot, and that was the reason why the mum abandoned him. But he was not too bad a dad. There was no horrible abuse, or whatever, so there was no true villain. And throughout the years, the son actually had occasional moments with the dad ... and if you observed properly, the son took after the dad in some ways ... genetically and behaviorally ...

The older days, again it could have turned into a melodrama with the dying mum etc ... but it did not. There were scenes of excruciating pain, but it was not over the top. There was a nice scene of the mum and the son crossing the road ... nothing much happened, but it was a nice scene ... effective ...

In sum, I thought it stole the Japanese hearts thru various means ... a true story (semi autobiographical) ... the book was a bestseller ... many women can relate to (abt themselves as wives/mums, about their husbands, abt their kid, etc) ... there was no over the top drama ... the song was great too ... while simple and plain, it is a story that narrates life and death as it is ... it celebrates relationship ... it is full of subtleties ...

I am not sure whether it will be commercially successful overseas, but I guess there are some who will like it and some who will dismiss it as not being eventful ...

Thinking about it, I can perfectly understand why the Japanese like it.
As for audiences around the world, I can only say this ... If you are looking for a realistic/reflective film about the relationship between parent(s) and kid (esp. as an adult), or about life and death, this is the film for you. There are no over dramatic events nor moments, there are no surprising plot twist, there are no true "villains", there are no incredible "heroes", they are all "human" ... Everything is simply life as it is ... This film wins by being real, and not going overboard in its portrayal of anything and everything ...

PS: Worth taking a bet by watching it, you may be in deep love with the film or you may dismiss it, wondering what captivates the Japanese critics and audience ...

Re: Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad (2007) (Japan)

Postby arsaib4 » Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:01 am

According to various websites, the film's DVD editions from Taiwan and HK are English subtitled, the ones from Korea and Japan aren't.

Re: Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad (2007) (Japan)

Postby hengcs » Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:06 am

I am really interested to know whether the rest of you like it ...
Americans, Europeans, Asians, etc ...

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