This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
plaidflannel’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Watched with the Collab (I just love you guys so much)
Who didn’t at one point idolize their parents? Brothers Keiji and Ryoichi are “nobodies,” or at least feel that way as they are constantly picked on at school. They feel a slight sense of security that at least their father is a somebody—why else would he expect such of them? Watching these two brothers weather childhood together is charming and extremely heartwarming, especially the way they always have each other in the thick of loneliness.
Upon home movies’ revealing their father’s “true identity” as *gasp!* a subordinate, the boys’ crisis plays out so realistically and quite understandably. The comical nature of much of the movie never detracts from the solidarity in their epiphanies. The boys do mature considerably and believably. I love the exchange where they tell their father to pay his boss (thus asserting power over him) and he says without the boss’s pay, the kids wouldn’t be able to go to school. They consider this a good point, whereas their recent past selves would have thought “good deal; I hate those bullies.”
The film itself feels like a home movie, playing to all of Ozu’s strengths and revealing what a legend he was. The synchronized movements of the characters was executed with enough precision to be comical and enough naturalness to be necessary. My favorite was for sure the final bites that the boys and their father took of the food their mother brought. So perfectly sweet and cathartic. Brilliant movie I would certainly rewatch.