Fukada masterfully teases out these tensions slowly. First, with glances, typically shared, typically simply rendered. Then by means of informal dialogue laced with refined, hurtful barbs. And eventually, by means of grand gestures and monologues that reveal unexpressed emotions, misplaced loyalties, unmasked selfishness, and lengthy overdue self-realizations.
Whereas all of this rigidity was brewing earlier than the shock social gathering, which additionally serves as a celebration for the six-year-old Keita’s latest Othello championship, a mishap involving Jirō’s jilted ex Yamazaki (Hirona Yamazaki), an unkind implication that Takeo is “used items” from Makoto, and, worst of all, a tragic accident involving Keita, brings every part swelling to the floor. The sudden reappearance of Taeko’s first husband, the half-Korean transient Park (Atom Sunada, splendidly maddening), who deserted them years earlier, makes issues even worse.
Deaf and houseless, with a stray cat in tow, Park roars again into Taeko’s life when she is most emotionally unstable. That the 2 by no means appeared to have had any actual closure stays an open wound for Taeko (and, unbeknownst to her, Jirō’). It’s now flayed and uncovered for all to see.
Park disrupts a wake held in a colorless, colorless constructing, his ragged, mustard yellow t-shirt contrasting with everybody’s solemn black. He slaps Taeko within the face; violence erupts as he’s ushered out, and she or he crashes to the ground, sobbing. This burst of anger—and their shared, guttural wailing—comes as a lot of a shock because the accident that led to the wake. There may be an intimacy the 2 share by means of their organic connection to Keita that pulls them collectively and that Jirō can’t totally comprehend.
Performing as his translator, Taeko then begins serving to Park obtain social support, at first reluctantly, then later on the encouragement of Jirō. As the 2 exes spend extra time collectively, Jirō additionally finds himself drawn again to his ex, Yamazaki, who he equally deserted in an emotional limbo when he bought with Taeko. All 4 appear caught, frozen by their previous actions and the individuals they was, unable to totally transfer on.
In exploring the intricacies of those uneasy relationships, Fukada makes use of the melodramatic monologue in all its glory. Whereas there may be an artificiality to monologues, the uncooked and sophisticated contradictions every character contends with are rooted in feelings that by no means as soon as ring false, and the actors deliver an authenticity that transcends treacle.