"Tokyo Sonata" is microcosm of Japan's "Lost Decade" that uses an average middle-class family to tell a story that challenges tradition and extols renewal and discovery. It opens on a note of routine, of a family so locked into their lives that they scarcely know one another. Review: Tokyo Sonata. Save $4,470 on a 2009 Hyundai Sonata near you. [H]ere, perhaps more urgently than ever before, it's about what happens when people confront the world outside, and what new, fragile connections they might begin to forge. At the end, they feel the same tensions as at the beginning, but the facade has been destroyed, and they will have to proceed unprotected. Tokyo Sonata is the ultimate expression of this quality of Kurosawa's cinema. But Koizumi is similarly effective, and the brooding child actor Kai is also top-notch. Kurosawa is the rare director who simply lets his film dissolve into music, allowing the plot to take the film naturally to a musical conclusion. The film centers around a seemingly normal Japanese family. All you know about three-act structure is going to be useless in watching this film, even though, like many sonatas, it has three movements. This was my 4th Sonata lease from Parks Hyundai of Gainesville in last 9 years. Panos Kotzathanasis. All rights reserved. The sonata has two sets of stars: actors and Tokyo venues (the latter may be both familiar and novel for frequent visitors to and, perhaps, residents of the city). Kiyoshi Kurosawa made his reputation with offbeat horror films like Cure and Pulse, which emphasized creeping dread over overt shock. The directions the films takes I should not reveal. Now, with Tokyo Sonata, Kurosawa has moved from not-quite-horror to not-quite-satire. All you know about three-act structure is going to be useless in watching this film, even though, like many sonatas, it has three movements. Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. Direction and acting are workman like although Kurosawa has inserted numerous (sometimes subtitle) messages and philosophical points of view (both harrowing and humorous). The high-definition transfer is presented in 1080p. Copyright © Fandango. No, it doesn't turn into another horror film or a murder-suicide. Tokyo Sonata marks his turn at a different type of cinema focusing on the drama of a family unit rather than his usual horror forays. ... TOKYO SONATA is the story of the Sasakis, an average middle class family living in Tokyo. Simply a beginning. The father, Ryuhei Sasaki (Teruyuki Kagawa), is a successful businessman who finds himself suddenly downsized as part of widespread company cutbacks. Noah Griffin’s review published on Letterboxd: Riffing on crippling conformity, dysfunctional family dynamics, and economic desperation, Tokyo Sonata is a film of a restrained, peculiar tone that varies from feeling like exaggerated satire to biting commentary. His wife sees him there, knows everything, stays quiet. Citations: His wife, Megumi, is a source of predictable domesticity, centering on cleaning, sewing and the preparation of meals. It is hard to find as well, so this was a great deal for the blu-ray/DVD combo pack. Tokyo Sonata shifts between various narratives of a family in turmoil, as each person struggles to find happiness and solace in what has become a life … As such, the appeal of “Tokyo Sonata” should translate to audiences anywhere who can identify with the family’s dilemma – and many will. The "themes" in this movie are the father and his family. Ryūhei has a good office job, but is suddenly fired because Chinese workers are cheaper. At the same time, Kurosawa observes the agony of unemployment in Japan, which, like the United States, has been beset by outsourcing to cheaper labor pools. … Review: Tokyo Sonata T okyo Sonata is yet another of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s chilling portraits of micro and macro alienation, a family drama as chillingly controlled and despondent as the horror films that gained him international recognition. Additional Physical Form: Also available online. By Genevieve Yue in the March-April 2009 Issue. Why? Taking a break from his regular diet of fantasy and horror, Japan's Kiyoshi Kurosawa delivers here a fierce indictment of modern-day Japan. somei (A Kenji Sonata). The family is just one of the nuclear units on the brink of systemic collapse in Kurosawa's mordant contemporary opus, which... builds up an edifice of wit around tragedy. His father forbids him. (The day when China and India begin outsourcing will be a historical turning point.) Dates or Sequential Designation: Despite his reputation as a leading J-Horror auteur, Kiyoshi Kurosawa has tended to eschew the grisly thrills and spectral manifestations of his peers for a more diffuse atmosphere of mystery and dread. Ed. Young Kenji (Kai Inowaki), no longer attending school, spends his money on piano lessons with the beautiful Kaneko (Haruka Igawa). From this perspective, Tokyo Sonata is a bit of a gem, showing me how ordinary Japanese people live and think. and the Terms and Policies, REELING IS A PROUD MEMBER OF… Laura and Robin's reviews are also featured on Rotten Tomatoes , the Movie Review Query Engine , and the IMDB . Japanese Reviews • Reviews Film Review: Tokyo Sonata (2008) by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism. Despite his reputation as a leading J-Horror auteur, Kiyoshi Kurosawa has tended to eschew the grisly thrills and spectral manifestations of his peers for a more diffuse atmosphere of mystery and dread. His expertise and quick service with a smile made a hole experience very pleasant. Kurosawa's film tells us a great deal about contemporary Japan without being overtly political. When a Japanese salaryman loses his job to outsourcing to China, it is just the beginning of a series of family shattering incidents leading to the implosion of the family unit. At times, Tokyo Sonata feels like a Bergman film: blond-wood interiors, classical-music soundtrack, family resentments ticking down to explosion. . 3:30 JAPANESE PRESS REVIEW - Japan's perspective on international issues in a program for Radio Japan 3:45 LONDON ECHO - a BBC magazine of the Arts . Plot Tokyo Sonata is about a middle-class family in Tokyo, the Sasakis, which consists of Ryūhei Sasaki, his wife Megumi, and their two sons Takashi and Kenji. We analyze millions of used cars daily. Is there a happy ending? Of course, Kurosawa is incapable of directing a straightforward picture, and TOKYO SONATA is no exception. Rudy!!!! By creating an account, you agree to the Privacy Policy and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango. Although I feel a slight dishonesty to Kurosawa's capabilities by even saying that as the man has proven even before this point his range as director with such superb films like Charisma and Bright Future There is the family, standard issue of father, mother and two children, and there are the roles: head of the family, respectful housewife, rebellious teenager and confused child. The movie slides into a kind of bizarre hyperreality that makes its desperation slightly hallucinatory but, paradoxically, more moving. In the opening scene, Ryuhei (Teruyuki Kagawa) is fired. Forgot your password? Tokyo Sonata is the ultimate expression of this quality of Kurosawa's cinema. Unemployment is the catalyst -- an unspoken reality that makes everyone in the family angrier than they already are. The lesson has to do with kindness and human interaction. Though far from flawless, it's an adventurous work that is both disturbing and ultimately moving. Read, review and discuss the entire Tokyo sonata movie script by Kiyoshi Kurosawa on Scripts.com Don't have an account? . Tokyo: Yuseido, 1988: 236-50. Tokyo Sonata centers on the Sasaki household, a middle-class family in Tokyo firmly entrenched in the stagnant routine of daily life. Read More There's a lesson in Tokyo Story. Notes Additional Physical Form: Also available on microfilm from the University of Florida. Review: Tokyo Sonata. It is terrifying because it is about us. I admit that when I received the DVD in the mail I thought the title was "Tokyo Santa" so maybe anything would have been for thematic elements and brief strong language, CW Reboots Walker but Forgets to Give Him a Personality, Something as Extraordinary as Birth Itself: Kornél Mundruczó and Kata Wéber on Pieces of a Woman, 10 Upcoming Films That Could Shake Up Oscar Season, Leslie Odom Jr., Aldis Hodge, Eli Goree, and Kingsley Ben-Adir on the Brotherhood of One Night in Miami. Perhaps he feels so inadequate he's threatened by any success involving his family. Given the current economic situation in America, the themes of Tokyo Sonata resonate even more. Reviews: Kentaro Miyazawa in his Review of James Morita, ed., Kenji somei (A Kenji Sonata) in Kaishaku to kansho (Interpretation and Appreciation) (June) 1991: 168. When Ryuhei (Teruyuki Kagawa) is laid off from his job as … Much like E1 Entertainment's presentation of Departures, Tokyo Sonata arrives in a 1.85:1 widescreen-enhanced image that grasps onto the film's visual tone nicely. But underlining the conventional image of a family, is a broken bond; each struggling on their own. Watch it play out. Storyline The wind of change is blowing as a family grapples with unemployment, alienation, mistrust and a lack of communication. Kagawa does the heavy dramatic lifting in Tokyo Sonata, convincingly portraying a good man flailing against reality. Unable to lose face by admitting his job loss, Ryuhei leaves "for the office" every day and lingers in a cheerless concrete oasis with other jobless men. In the following sections, they are developed in passages revealing the secrets or potentials of both. He comes home, hands over his week's wages, says nothing. Picture 9/10. Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password. Kurosawa's first domestic drama is music to general audience's ears. Tokyo Sonata depicts a traditional family: father works, mother is a housewife and sons are studying. His father, breaking with the Japanese tradition of encouraging children to study, has already forbidden piano lessons. Ultimately, this may seem like a typical family where father works, mother nurtures and children study. I was helped by Mr. Rudy Porter. Thank you, Mr. Debris has been cleared. Sign up here. We believe we know where "Tokyo Sonata" is going. Mr. Rudy was very generous with his time answering all my questions. Old tapes have been destroyed. ‘Tokyo Sonata’ looks at the gradual dismantling of the nuclear family and, as intentionally underplayed as it is, hides a powerful undercurrent. Rated PG-13 January 19, 2020. Tokyo Sonata reminded me a little of two French movies about salaryman-delusion: Laurent Cantet's Time Out (2001) and Nicole Garcia's The … The characters misplace their belief in etiquette, politesse, dignity, and propriety - or they struggle to maintain it. A sonata is a classical form in which two musical ideas are intercut. Best known in the United States for bizarre and unsettling horror films like PULSE and CURE, Kiyoshi Kurosawa ventures away from that category with TOKYO SONATA. The sonata has two sets of stars: actors and Tokyo venues (the latter may be both familiar and novel for frequent visitors to and, perhaps, residents of the city). Facebook Twitter Reddit. An extended passage is held in a medium-long shot in which nobody moves, and the effect is uncanny. As mentioned, it contains no supernatural elements, no ghosts, killers, or monstrous flora and fauna. Riffing on crippling conformity, dysfunctional family dynamics, and economic desperation, Tokyo Sonata is a film of a restrained, peculiar tone that varies from feeling like exaggerated satire to biting commentary. Etsuko Terasaki's review in Journal of the Association of Teachers of Japanese 33.2 (1989): 175-76. Ryuhei is a salaryman in a management job. Panos Kotzathanasis panos.kotzathanasis pkotzathanasis PKotzathanasis. Nothing is for sure. He almost misleads us in the early scenes, by framing the family dinners in sedate and orderly compositions. His older son, Takashi, and younger son, Kenji, are filled with unhappiness but seemingly well-disciplined, although Kenji gets in trouble at school: The teacher unfairly blames him for passing along a manga, or graphic novel, and Kenji defiantly says he saw the teacher reading a porno manga on the train. At times, Tokyo Sonata feels like a Bergman film: blond-wood interiors, classical-music soundtrack, family resentments ticking down to explosion. Though his latest to hit the American big screen, “Tokyo Sonata,” looks like a family melodrama — if a distinctly eccentric variant on the typical domestic affair — there is … His humiliation is underlined when all maintenance workers must change into one-piece coveralls at lockers in full view of passing customers. At the 2008 Cannes Film Festival it won the Jury Prize of the Un Certain Regard section. The Blu-ray disc is region free and will play in all Blu-ray players (or should anyways.) A highlight of the Cannes Film Fest, Tokyo Sonata should broaden Kurosawa's appeal in the U.S. Nothing as simple as that. Freedom has been asserted. Kurosawa's relaxed pacing and lack of concern for explaining every last thing will be a welcome relief if you've wearied of blockbusters... Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa cut his teeth on horror movies, and his flattened, formal style mines the horror in everyday urban life. REELING IS A PROUD MEMBER OF… Laura and Robin's reviews are also featured on Rotten Tomatoes , the Movie Review Query Engine , and the IMDB . What we seem to have are the outlines of a traditional family drama, in which tensions are bottled up, revelations will occur and a crisis will result in either tragedy or resolution. Kyoko Koizumi, Kai Inowaki, Teruyuki Kagawa, and Yu Koyanagi portray a dysfunctional, middle-class Japanese family in director Kiypshi Kurosawa’s TOKYO SONATA. Eureka’s Masters of Cinema series presents Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Tokyo Sonata in the aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this dual-layer disc. As mentioned, it contains no supernatural elements, no ghosts, killers, or monstrous flora and fauna. Many men in Japan do the same, no big deal, but hypocrisy is the point. Y et another of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s chilling portraits of micro and macro alienation, Tokyo Sonata is a family drama as chillingly controlled and despondent as the horror films that gained him international recognition. Get the freshest reviews, news, and more delivered right to your inbox! Just as the economic crisis has jolted everyday life, so it shakes up "Tokyo Sonata," which begins as a well-behaved story and takes detours into the comic, the macabre and the sublime. Read full review A skilful and continually surprising drama, Tokyo Sonata depicts the gradual deterioration of an ordinary Japanese family after its breadwinner loses his job owing to corporate downsizing. The entrance of a completely unexpected character results in an instinctive acceptance of the new situation, providing a sad payoff to what at first seems merely arbitrary. In the beginning, they are introduced. Now along comes Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Tokyo Sonata, which takes a look at unemployment and family woes from a decidedly Japanese perspective. Tokyo Sonata reminded me a little of two French movies about salaryman-delusion: Laurent Cantet's Time Out (2001) and Nicole Garcia's The Adversary (2002), both based on … Ryuhei joins hopeless queues at an employment office. repeat of Wednesday program 4:00 MUSIC FROM GERMANY - by German composers and performers: He has an encounter at work that is bizarre. A horror film of a different sort from director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who made his reputation as a "J-horror" director of intelligent supernatural thrillers ... Japanese horror maestro Kiyoshi Kurosawa applies his offbeat approach to the uniquely Japanese brand of dysfunctional family comedy in this droll satire. But that's not what we're given by director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, best known for upscale horror films. Powered by JustWatch Just as the economic crisis has jolted everyday life, so it shakes up "Tokyo Sonata," which begins as a well-behaved story and takes detours into the comic, the macabre and the sublime. The conclusion does not resolve them; instead, we return to look at them, knowing what we know now. It simply shows how lives torn apart by financial emergencies can be revealed as being damaged all along. And then the film finds a form of release in another unexpected scene. He is an autocratic father, filled with anger. Tokyo Sonata centers around the travails of the Sasaki family, beginning with the day that father Ryuhei (Kagawa Teruyuki) is laid off from his white collar position in favor of cheaper Chinese labor. Share This! He finds work cleaning toilets in a shopping mall. Takashi (Yu Koyanagi) announces he has enlisted in the U.S. Army as a way to gain citizenship, as he sees no future for himself in Japan. Yet it is without doubt the most terrifying film Kiyoshi Kurosawa has ever made. We are blindsided by its beauty. All of the performances have perfect pitch; the young son engages us in the same way as the hero of Truffaut's "The 400 Blows.". … James Morita. It's his most ostensibly accessible film, which is to say that much of what happens … Search over 28,600 listings to find the best Gainesville, FL deals. We are wrong. Dramatic events occur that demonstrate how a routine, once broken, cannot easily be repaired. Using utter realism, Kurosawa presents the hardships a family faces in the middle of the financial crisis, similar to the same bitter truth Sam Mendes showed in "American Beauty". A skilful and continually surprising drama, Tokyo Sonata depicts the gradual deterioration of an ordinary Japanese family after its breadwinner loses his job owing to corporate downsizing. A film that effectively examines both the familial conflicts in Japan's transitioning society and the wondrous avenues each individual within the family explores. Sidney Poitier’s 7 Most Memorable Performances, All Harry Potter Movies Ranked Worst to Best by Tomatometer. I absolutely love my new Sonata. Tokyo Sonata, in so many senses, is about an allergic reaction to the very idea of what it means to be Japanese. It is terrifying because it is about us. Tokyo Sonata is such a beautiful movie. Kagawa does the heavy dramatic lifting in Tokyo Sonata, convincingly portraying a good man flailing against reality. DVD Review: TOKYO SONATA. As such, the appeal of “Tokyo Sonata” should translate to audiences anywhere who can identify with the family’s dilemma – and many will. There is a soup kitchen. Tokyo Sonata (トウキョウソナタ, Tōkyō Sonata) is a 2008 Japanese film directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa.It won the award for Best Film at the 3rd Asian Film Awards and received 2008 Asia Pacific Screen Awards nominations for Achievement in Directing and Best Screenplay. By Genevieve Yue in the March-April 2009 Issue. "Tokyo Sonata" is as good a chance as any to discover him. But notice how Kurosawa (no relation the the great filmmaker) permits his train to leave the tracks. The film transcends conventions of genre and cultural boundaries, and turns out to be one of the most compelling, finely orchestrated and oddly enchanting films of the year so far. Direction and acting are workman like although Kurosawa has inserted numerous (sometimes subtitle) messages and philosophical points of view (both harrowing and humorous). Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer. 4 Min Read. Yet it is without doubt the most terrifying film Kiyoshi Kurosawa has ever made. 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