After the Storm (2016)

Hirokazu Kore-eda directs Hiroshi Abe, Satomi Koboyashi and Kirin Kiki in this Japanese family drama where a feckless detective spends a final weekend with his estranged son and moving-on ex.

The first hour is quite pleasurable, as much a formless week in the life of scuzzy private investigator – softball crimes, cheap cons and bottom tier sleuthing – as a sophisticated soap. The familial elements that add coarseness to this shaggy dog enterprise snap into focus in the second half. The embattled weary relations of our back-on-his-heels loser find themselves trapped in a cramped flat. A storm rages outside. Ultimatums are made, sad realisations finalised… and a little bit of hope and back pedalling is left with us at the credits. I’m not going to lie and pretend the gambling and unethical behaviour of Hiroshi Abe isn’t what I enjoyed the most but for you purer arthouse heads there is plenty of cooking, furtive looks and tender moments too.

6

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25 comments

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