Late Spring (1949)


Late Spring – Yasujirô Ozu

Banshun (original title)

Summary: 27-year old Noriko (Setsuko Hara) still lives with her widowed father (Chishû Ryû).  After the war, she recovers from an illness, which prompts close friends and family to question her father when she will be getting married.  She cares for her father through cooking and cleaning, leading many to believe she’d make the perfect wife, but has never herself hinted at any admirers or suitors.  Her aunty speaks first to her father, who agrees it’s about time Noriko married and they both notice her close friendship with his assistant Hattori (Jun Usami).  To open the discussion of marriage her father asks Noriko if she would find Hattori a suitable husband, to which Noriko giggles and informs her father that Hattori is already engaged.  This leaves Noriko’s aunt deflated, however she is determined to find a match for Noriko and asks her, through her father, to visit her house at the weekend to meet a man she think will suit her.  This proposition reveals Noriko’s true feelings about her unwillingness to marry; instead she insists she is happy to continue living and caring for her father.

My Review:  Late Spring supposedly belongs to a type of Japanese film known as shomingeki; a genre dealing with ordinary daily lives of people in modern times, modern times being post-war Japan.  Already intriguing me by it’s synopsis, it was fascinating to see archaic traditional values in a young character, rather than the stereotypical old.  Although this genre of film is meant to have no heavy hidden meanings or theories, I still felt like Late Spring was scratching on the surface of the motion of change.  The cherishing relationship between father and daughter is what makes this film a good watch, that and how you’re left wondering what’s next for Noriko.

My Rating: 3/5

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