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Tokyo Sonata/ トウキョウソナタ (2008)


Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Cast: Teruyuki Kagawa, Kyoko Koizumi,Yu Koyanagi, Kai Inowaki, Kanji Tsuda, Koji Yakusho


An ordinary Japanese family slowly disintegrates after its patriarch loses his job at a prominent company.

What I Liked:

A great family drama that brings you into the types of problem that arise within your average middle class semi-traditional Japanese family.  Kurosawa masterly captured the rising tension between the various members of the family and the father (Teruyuki Kagawa).  The problems seemed all too real especially for today’s generation growing up in Japan.  The best part for me was the way Kurosawa structured the movie (especially in the second half) with everyone in the family going through a personal journey, discovering themselves and their family throughout the journey. The vivid cinematography really excelled the overall movie especially by bringing out the sights and sounds of suburban Japan.

What I wasn’t a fan of:

The movie had confusing moments ,in terms of the movie’s tone, throughout the movie switching from comedic moments to morbidly dark moments really quickly. This gave a mixed message about whether the movie was trying to be a light hearted or a serious drama. Fortunately most of these are sorted out about a third into the movie, which assures the rest for a dramatic and emotion filled movie.


Acting : 3.5

Directing: 3.8

Visual: 3.7

Soundtrack: 3.3

Total :  3.6

 (Modern Day Japanese Family Drama that feels all too real)


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