Keswick Film Club - Reviews - After The Storm

Reviews - After The Storm

After The Storm

Reviewed By Chris Coombes

After The Storm
After The Storm
Last Sunday we had the only Japanese film of the season. After the Storm is directed by Hirokazu Koreeda and is a slow, pensive film about Shinoda a man who is having a hard time emotionally and financially and is keeping himself going by working – not all that ethically – as a private detective. His marriage is over, he is not able to see his son as often as he would like, largely through his own ineptitude, and he is perfectly prepared to exploit and cheat on all those around him – including his mother - to support his gambling habit. The Storm of the title is a typhoon which brings and keeps together Shinoda, his mother, his ex-wife and his son. They shelter from the storm throughout the night in the mother's food filled, claustrophobic apartment. Many elements of the family drama that ensues will surely be familiar to most of us.

I find it interesting that I can leave the cinema after a film like this feeling fairly sure I didn't enjoy it, but later after some conversation and some thought I realise it has a lot to offer, and that’s what I love about cinema. This was a film that dealt honestly and respectfully with the notion of loss and disappointment. It was entirely unsentimental about the way people need each other but often fail to take care of each other. It was a comment on modern life and the confronting issues of old age and loneliness and loss of traditional family connections. Most of all this film showed us how, in spite of yearnings for things to be different, essentially we never change; we go on making the same mistakes. So, in the end I felt that this slow, gentle film was quite profound – and very clear about human frailty in all its forms. A bit of a masterpiece in fact.

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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.

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