Director and screenplay: Misawa Takuya
Photography: Ueno Shogo
· Nakazaki Haya (Tomoharu)
· Sugino Kiki (Maki)
· Koshino Ena (Karin)
· Fukushima Juri (Ayako)
· Hori Natsuko (Risa)
· Nikaido Satoshi (Professor Kondo)
Production: Matsuzaki Hayate, Sugino Kiki
Running Time: 88 min
Release Date: December 9, 2014
Official Site: www.chigasakistory.com/
Seascape, Families in a Park, cheerful background music: a start that recalls some Woody Allen’s films for the romantic comedy Chigasaki Story, the work that marks the feature film debut for young director Misawa.
In a small guest of the town that gives the title to the film converge a series of characters whose respective stories will come together producing emotional crosses and reactions of various kinds. Risa, the owner is organizing to celebrate her wedding party, pending that George also arrived, the new groom; Maki, his ex-colleague (character interpreted by actress and producer Sugino Kiki), will accompany the party, accompanied by Karin, a beautiful and exuberant girl. Tomoharu, the handy kid of the retirement, also a scholar of archeology is fascinated by the latter. There is also a class of archeology students, led by Professor Kondo (under whose guidance many years ago Maki had attended a seminar). Among the students is Ayako, immediately struck by the attentive Tomoharu.
The director makes it virtually impossible not to pick up the remarks at Ozu Yasujiro’s movies: beginning with the title, echoing that of the well-known Tokyo monogatari (Tokyo Story), directed in 1953 by the master of classical cinema. Even more clearly Tomoharu will explain to the two newcomers, Maki and Karin, that the room in which they live is exactly what Ozu used to write the screenplay of some of his most famous films. Even the shooting choices are a clear reference: shooting of rooms with a room located at the bottom, “reflection” shots of spaces where no characters are found and most of all, the use of ellipses, the most relevant example being the wedding of Risa and George.
Why so much attention in evoking the work of the filmmaker of the past?
Perhaps because this is one of the themes most likely to affect director Misawa: the bond with the past, the reflection of what was on the present.
In comedy drama several elements seem to want to be oriented in this sense: the group of boys is interested in archeology, studying the finds recovered from the ruins of the area; and then the fascination that Professor Kondo exerts on Maki seems to have far-reaching roots, at the time when the woman was a student. The past is a shadow over the present, which affects choices and actions.
It seemed to me that the characters were intriguing, but they were somewhat too schematic: the cute and servile boy, the good lady Risa (with an interesting escape from the schemes when she is surprised in the kitchen, wrapped in Professor Kondo as well as not to understand it after seeing her husband George), the sensual and egocentric Karin.
In conclusion a nice comedy. Of course Ozu fans will be able to enjoy it.