Saw this at the London Film Festival today. An inscrutable Japanese comedy.
Sawako – A downtrodden girl works in Tokyo and dates her colleague a man-child who knits jumpers. She is always apologizing and not standing up for herself and she has a drink problem.
Her uncle calls to say that her dad is dying and she must come home to take over his clam processing business. Her boyfriend is fired and goes with her, he brings along his five year old daughter. Sawako cannot relate to her.
Things pan out as you would imagine but with various troubles along the way. The moral and character philosophies are distinctly Japanese and humour comes from subtly lampooning their politeness and conformity.
In the end Sawako speaks out for herself and explains her life philosophy – I’m just an average ‘lower -middle’ (class) and should just put up with what I can get.
The film was way too long at two hours but had some subtle light humour and a few broader moments that still had that low key Japanese feel.