Beautiful, compassionate, poignant story about aged parents visiting their children in Tokyo but the children being indifferent to them and at times hostile as well. Yasuhiro Ozu’s beautiful movie Tokyo Story made in 1953 in black and white and a cult classic all these years.
The retired aged couple who live in a distant village have two sons and two daughters and one son who had died so his widow survives him. One son lives in Osaka and others in Tokyo. One daughter lives with them only in their village where she is a school teacher in a school. In Tokyo they all have very busy lives struggling to make a living. Taking even half day off from work becomes impossible at times. Then they have grandchildren as well. So they are visiting the children after many years and look forward to it. Initially the children welcome them but later they become indifferent which the aged couple are quick to spot and realise it. Their daughter in law however is quite warm and friendly with them. After a short visit the aged couple return back to their home but the mother falls while in the train and has to deboard at Osaka where they visit their other son. Later on they come back to their village and the mother again falls ill. Its a beautifully made moving film and very subtle messages of love and affection. There is a beautiful dialogue in the movie which is “you can only love your parents while they are alive, and you cannot carry your respect to them to their grave”. The Japanese is a beautiful lilting language, very pleasing to hear and the pronunciation is very clear. It is a timeless classic from the Japanese director. The Japanese say Arigato or thank you numerous times. All the characters have played good roles, so its difficult to single out anybody. Cheiko Higashiyama as the mother has played a stellar role in the movie.