Movies: After the Storm

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This poignant Japanese film explores the day-to-day life of former writer Ryota (played by Hiroshi Abe). After failing to live up to his early promise, he holds down a job as a private detective and struggles to support his ex-wife Kyoko (Yoko Maki) and young son Shingo (Taiyo Yoshizawa). Unsurprisingly, there is plenty of sadness and tension in this broken relationship, yet it is balanced by a gentle humour that surfaces when you don't expect it, especially in the scenes with his mother Yoshiko, played by Kirin Kiki of Sweet Bean. The drama culminates in an overnight stay in Yoshiko's tiny apartment, where the divorced couple and their son end up sheltering together to avoid a typhoon - the storm of the title. This movie falls emphatically in the "slice of life" category, though with a brief nod to detective-led genres. So don't go in expecting resolution of any sort, just enjoy this cinematic portrait of Japanese urban living, and the subtlety of these very human relationships.

After the Storm (2016)
Director Hirokazu Kore-eda
Running time 117 min

You can view the trailer below.