Friday, June 20, 2014

Criterion on FilmStruck: Farewell to Dream (1956)

Farewell to Dream movie poster
Farewell to Dream (1956) - Directed by Keisuke Kinoshita; Written by Yoshiko Kusuda; Starring Yoshiko Kuga, Takahiro Tamura, Shinji Tanaka.

By Kenny Howell

A Japanese family fights to stay afloat in this solid drama from Keisuke Kinoshita.

The story is pretty simple. The family owns a fish shop. The dad has worked himself to death all these years with his wife by his side, and he barely gets by. His health is also starting to fail. His son is becoming a young man, not sure of where life is going to take him. He dreams of breaking out, but he feels a duty to keep the fish shop going. His daughter is gorgeous and knows it. She is desperately in search for a husband, and doesn't really care who gets in her way. She is rude, and is not going to let anyone stop her from marrying a rich man and doing whatever she wants.

The movie sees the entire family at a crossroads. They are ready all to take their next step in life, the father might be exiting his. It's painful to break these bonds, but the characters have no choice. Kinoshita handles that drama well, not overly dramatizing it, and letting the characters' stories unfold. It probably could have benefited from a little more tightening. But it is probably the best Kinoshita work I have seen, though I have seen only a few of his many works.

Farewell to Dream is available on FilmStruck as a part of the Criterion Collection.

Rating: ***

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