There’s a gratifying appeal to the work of Japanese auteur Hirokazu Koreeda, whose distinctive sensibilities as a filmmaker ensure every passing endeavour is one to cherish, as he so often blends kitchen sink realism with a subtle injection of enchantment – and his latest, After the Storm, is no different.
Following the death of his father, Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) – a private detective who once garnered success as an author, has often neglected his own offspring and so makes an attempt to reconnect, starting with his ex-wife Kyoko (Yoko Maki), who is reluctant to give him a second chance. But Ryota is determined to prove his worth, and not only as a father but as a son too, as he heads back home to spend some time with his ageing mother (Kirin Kiki). All he needs is the opportunity to spend some time with them – and so he thanks his lucky stars when a storm breaks out, keeping them all in the same apartment for a night.
But the star of the show, as she so often is, is Kiki, such a wonderful actress who is just so absorbing and natural on screen. She walks this line between comedy and pathos with such ease, which makes her the perfect fit for a Koreeda feature. Hopefully we won’t have to wait much longer for the director’s next either – as the term prolific is rightfully given to him with much pleasure.
After the Storm is released on June 2nd