A young salary man and his wife struggle within the confines of their passionless relationship while he has an extramarital affair.
It's interesting to watch a film where the arcs are all character emotion rather than contrived plot devices. Ozu is masterly at making reality cinematic.
I detect the universality & subtle profundity here, and the camerawork & editing is top notch, but the narrative's revelations pass in such a slight fashion that I'm certain I'll forget EARLY SPRING by tomorrow.
Reckon I'll try Ozu again in a couple decades; maybe then his sensibility will appeal to me.
And perhaps by then I'll be able to sing along with the cast's moving Japanese rendition of "Auld Lang Syne."
Once again Ozu slowly builds to a complex and emotionally satisfying conclusion, using a simple style that highlights relationships in families, the workplace, among friends, and between objects out in the world. The two leads are a bit more opaque than we find in many Ozu films, but that works amid their quietly contentious relationship. The final few scenes play out remarkably well. What a beautiful film.
So far this has my favorite men-coming-home-drunk-horrifying-their-wives scenes from any Ozu film. I have many more to watch though.