Sunday, January 28, 2007


Maborosi (幻の光)

幻の光 I was so excited when I ran into a Japanese film "Maborosi" ("幻の光") at the library. Why? Because the same director Hirokazu Kore-Eda (是枝裕和) made "Nobody Knows" ("誰も知らない"), one of my all time favorite films, as well as "After Life" (ワンダフルライフ).

Indeed "Maborosi" is a delicious treat for cinema like Mr. Kore-Eda's other films. It tells a very simple and sad story, through its unforgettable beautiful visual.

In "Maborosi," a young woman Yumiko lives with his husband Ikuo and their new born son quietly and happily in Osaka. A tragic event alters Yumiko's life. She moves to a small fishing village with her young son, but she can never stop wondering what really happened. That thought tortures her forever.

Director Hirokazu Kore-Eda is terrific at telling a story with his visual, with little dialogue, if any at all. It's remarkable to see how he can use a simple scene to convey so much emotion and tell us so much more.

I can never forget a scene when Yumiko sitting on the back of his husband Ikuo's bicycle. It's one of the sweetest and most romantic scene I have seen. No roses or candles, and they don't have to say how much they love each other. We all know by just look at this image.

In this film, not a single person is bad, or even remotely mean. Everybody is kind and nice. Yet, this is not a light happy film. It refuses to leave my mind after I watch it.

My rating: 9 out of 10.

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