Thursday, April 19, 2012

ONE WONDERFUL SUNDAY (Japanese) (1947)

‘This is the kind of world where you need the dreams the most.’

It’s always surprise and joy discovering something so lesser known classic from Master like Kurosawa and its double surprise to see something so poignant and yet so positive love story on screen. Kurosawa’s this early post world war tale seems more under the shadows of Italian Neo Realist melodrama and it leads us to witness the heart breaking and mending moments of two concerning lovers. It instantly reminds me of that famous O Henry short story ‘The Gift of Magi’. It maintained the light and shadow of joy and sadness between two lovers as the film progresses and yet the film maintains and ends with a effective positive note.

Two miserable young lovers used to meet only on Sundays and this is one of their Sunday date but all they have between them is meager sum of 35 yen and each others company. Yes, they are opposite, the girl is too emotional and dreamy and the man is realist and a disillusioned cynic returned from war. What we witness from the beginning to the end is a day from morning to night where hope and despair, happiness and sadness keep on playing their roles one after other.  Throughout the film we see the role-playing shifted between the couple finding affordable joys of visiting zoo, concert, café or amphitheatre and how most of their little joys ended up with despair due to unfortunate economics! Their running short of money plays its tragedy in all situations and yet they keep intact their mutual dream to open a café with affordable prices for masses.

The later half of the film is so evocative one with two heartbreaking scenes. One where the couple standing in a queue to ticket window witness how the black marketers snatched their hopes by purchasing affordable B tickets and than started selling them with  high rates. Seeing her beloved crying, the man demanded one of black marketer to sell two tickets at same prize and as he refused the man angrily gave him a punch.

The ugly reality strikes again and the tussle between two ended up with many where the union of black marketers ended up beating the man.The film is not the best or stands equal compared to what the Master made in the later years but still one can see the glimpse of making of Master humanitarian here especially that two brilliant scenes- the one where the lovers enacting a mock café scene at ruined rubble followed by beautiful moonlight swing scene. And that long and the most moving highlight of the film where we witness the imaginary symphony with invisible orchestra at amphitheatre and the inner feelings played by an atmospheric opera on screen! Now that’s absolutely Kurosawa moment to witness without fail and it deserved standing round of applause for all such miserable young lovers around the world. This is Kurosawa’s no lesser film and mandatory one for all his devoted fans.

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