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2011年1月29日 (土)

Tokyo Sonata (2008)

I know that music can actually save one's life. It at least keeps me living when I am struggling. On the "crowded like a hell" commuting train in the morning in the central Tokyo area, sometimes people can't survive without music from iPod. Like other people, I have been saved by music time to time. Listening to Chemical Brothers in the morning ebables me to go to work, even though in the situation when I feel like running away to nowhere.

One of the main characters "Kenji" plays "Claire de Lune" by Debussy at the entrance exam for entering into music school in the film. He plays the piano in front of audience, including his parents. His parents are saved by their son's music, after the painful experiences. It was ironic that, when Kenji and his parents are leaving the room, other parents were staring at the three and imagined that they were "perfect family". Nobody imagined the painful "journey" that Kenji and his parents have had. But in fact, at the Debussy moment, the three were the "perfect happy family".

The actress Kyoko Koizumi, A.K.A. "Kyon Kyon", who played the role of Kenji's mother Megumi, was the POP icon in the 80's in Japan and this is possibly not really known by the really young generation (even within Japan) and people from overseas. I have to mention that she was not only a super-duper pop singer, but also a person who had a huge commercial influence in the Japanese market. After she mentioned that it was her favourite book, Salinger "The Catcher in the Rye" suddenly became the bestselling title, so as "Momo" by Michael Ende. In a way, she was like Lady Gaga in 80's in Japan, in terms of influence on young people.

Now, our Kyon Kyon is playing a MOTHER. And the mother was played excellently. Kyon Kyon's ex husband is a Jarmusch star, Masatoshi Nagase.

This film describes a dysfunctional family, which was once destroyed, but later "comes back" and that's why it gives us a pleasant taste after watching it. A great (Kiyoshi) Kurosawa film.

Reviewed by Keiko SASAKI

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