The movie retribution Blog!
Directed & Written by: Kore-EDA Hirokazu
A family reunion is a once in a life time experience….Well it is in this movie.
Still Walking (歩いても 歩いても Aruitemo aruitemo) is a 2008 drama about a family coming together in the summer to commemorate the death of the eldest son 15 years ago.We live true this period as we see the second eldest son Ryota “Ryo” Yokoyama (Hiroshi Abe) with his new-found family struggling with loose ends and personal matters as we venture into family ties of a reunited family. A movie i have been wanting to review for some time now…
I’m going to start of by saying the following: this movie is NOT a generic movie well-known to the drama genre in any way, this story’s essence lies in simplicity much like Hirokazu’s other works. Yet this movie has been praised at festival’s and by The New York Times no less as a great drama with an amazing sense of reality, one motion picture that allows a viewer to get lost into the picture not because of the constant melodramatic scenes or moments that seem to reflect touching characteristics you have in common with the main character(s).No, not this time.You allow yourself to be convinced you are visiting a family and at the same time wishing you knew how Junpei, the eldest son who died 15 years ago, would have been like while your mind walks side by side with Ryota , a man who defines’ common’ as he tries to cover up the fact that he is between jobs. The simple problems of a family that has been reunited at last dealing with a few wounds that ‘s covered under traditional household.
When a man marries a widower with one child it can become tricky to portray the role as family man to folks who are slightly old fashion whom expect a traditional family .Ryota is that man, in fact he is the only one of all his siblings who married a widower with a child, yes even his deceased brother was married the “right” way . The way Ryota was struggling to keep appearance as a respectable son was under the radar and at first it leaves you wondering what the motive of this film was in the first place, until you meet the father. A man who grew old while retaining his excessive pride (going as far as pretending he is working on something when someone enters his examination room) and who is slightly disappointed that his house clinic,his legacy, is going extinct by the opening of a hospital years before the main story began and because his sons denied it , mainly because one died (hinted to be the one he entrusted his clinic) leaving him somewhat bitter, but joyful when he gets accustomed to his family a great performance by Yoshio Harada if I may add. The relation between Ryota and his father is complicated: they are distant in both ideals and behavior but when the story unravels you are lead to believe that they may not be that distant, family time may do that to you i guess.
The mixture between soft wounds concerning the deceased brother and Ryota’s marital status causes the story to evolves nicely but very slow. Ryota’s new wife is shown to be polite and well-mannered letting a few remarks slip true concerning the fact that Ryota married a widower, she cared about those believe me. Those events are then wrapped up in a question who is hidden in your mind when you are watching this movie: Is Ryota’s new family accepted? And the fact that the matter is dealt in a polite fashion that is only known to japan makes it less obvious throughout the movie, something I liked personally. Most movies in the family reunion genre are flooded with drama which end in violence and tears at times. This shows that a simple family reunion with a few more faces that pops in the family do not always have to be that dramatic, simplicity has a beauty of its own if you direct it right.
Nevertheless, The family spirit that forms itself in this movie is worth gold as you concentrate on the true principles of a family. I only wished I could have seen it on a festival screen (i heard they are huge by the way). And with this said i can only hope that you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.