Film Review: After the Storm
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Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, After the Storm is a great character study that explores the ideas of responsibility and family. Both touching and funny, the film is a well-crafted and engaging watch. The film is about prize winning novelist and private detective Ryota (Hiroshi Abe), who is trying to keep in touch with his son Shingo (Taiyo Yoshizawa) and ex-wife Kyoko (Yoko Maki), whilst coming to terms with the death of his father. His increasingly difficult financial situation, and tendency to fall for the same vices as his father, leads Ryota to decisions that do more damage than good to his fragile relationships. With the help of his mother, Yoshiko (Kirin Kiki), Ryota gains the chance to re-connect with his family once again as they take refuge for the night from a fierce typhoon. After the Storm is a great character driven story. Ryota is a fascinating protagonist who struggles to see himself for who he really is for most of the film. Between gambling and dishonesty, Ryota’s actions are often questionable. However, it’s his very human, relatable motivations that keep him likeable as a character. It becomes more clear throughout the film that Ryota is desperate to keep connected to his family which, combined with Hiroshi Abe’s understated yet convincing performance, makes you understand why he is doing what he is.
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