Thursday, 21 March 2013

Recommended: Still Walking

From the same director as the TV series Going My Home, and the TV series bears many similarities with it's older cinematic sibling. There's Abe Hiroshi and YOU in both, they have the same dreamy style of directing, the same soundtrack of tunes idly picked on an acoustic guitar, and both have barely any storyline at all.

The film is about a day in which a family gather together on the anniversary of the death of a son. Abe Hiroshi plays Ryota, the brother of the deceased, and has to deal with the constant subtext of never being as good as his brother. Meanwhile Natsukawa Yui plays a widower who is marrying Ryota, acutely aware that she and her son will never really be accepted by her husband's parents. Most of the film is concerned with everyday family life, with revelations and emotions only rarely being seen.

The director, Koreeda Hirokazu, certainly has a vision, and you can't criticise him for sticking to it. His films often have a timeless quality, and this film (and Going My Home) are all about making the mundane into something magical.


  1. By coincidence I just watched this movie yesterday. Started watching the day before, but felt it had to be seen in high res. So waited for a day. Totally worth it! And now there's your review : )
    I quite agree with it, although I'd like to remark that Still Walking and Going my home are some of his lighter works. Air Doll for example and especially Nobody knows are really much darker.
    It's nice to see both this and Going my home. Almost the same story (if you can call it that),but Going my home is a bit lighter and sweeter. I loved how the usual family business is played out in both works. All the little games, the guilt and(unfulfilled) expectations. It's all very recognizable. Still, underneath the hurt there's love. The whole atmosphere, subtle humor and great cast makes watching this so worthwhile. It's a lesson in humanity.

  2. I agree. There's something very life-affirming in Still Walking/Going My Home.

    I've seen Air Doll and After Life, and I keep meaning to write about both of them. After Life has a similar slow pace to it and an emphasis on improvisation, but it can't be compared to Still Walking/Going My Home because it's hardly realistic. It is, after all, set in an office between life and the after life.

    Hmm, now I've written that, I want to watch it again.

  3. You watched it! I remember I felt very sad with the final scenes in Still Walking, and remembering the Sumo wrestler's name. I think Going my Home felt a lot more uplifting. The same with I Wish. Those are the most similar of his work.

    Nobody Knows is just plain depressing. LOL Amazing movie, though.

  4. I saw a four-DVD box-set of Kore-eda films in a DVD shop today. I was very tempted, but I've seen three of them, so £24 for one film is a bit steep.