Kinoshita's swan song (he would live for another ten years afterward) follows the misadventures of a middle-aged man (Eiji Bando), who is fond of coming up with get-rich-quick schemes, much to the chagrin of his family. This is a light comedy, not especially memorable. It has its charms, though. Bando is very good in the title role. The one thing I really liked about it is, while Bando comes across as a likable enough schlub, we realize very quickly that it'd be a huge pain to love him. The film never feels the need to push the family unit as a be-all, end-all. Bando's wife, Kin Sugai, is pushing for divorce through most of the film, and his son, Makoto Nonomura, is constantly embarrassed by him, but we are never made to feel like they are in the wrong. The film is not especially Ozu-like - though it's pretty much in the same genre as his movies - but I found myself wondering how Ozu might have handled the material.
A middle-aged man's family loses patience with him as he struggles with his seemingly directionless life.
November 27, 2020