Review | Film review: in After the Storm, Hirokazu Koreeda looks at squandered potential
A companion piece to his 2008 humanist masterpiece Still Walking, Koreeda’s film resonates deeply with the subtlest hints of family connection
The Japanese auteur’s latest film, After the Storm, is a companion piece to Still Walking in more ways than one: not only has he repurposed key shots from that humanist masterpiece for the new film, but Koreeda has again derived his film’s Japanese title from the lyrics of an old pop song.
More significantly still, both Kirin Kiki and Hiroshi Abe are back to resume their mother-and-son pairing, although, this time around, the adult son has unwillingly divorced and the family patriarch has recently passed away.
A slice-of-life drama in which very little happens, After the Storm derives great emotional resonance from the subtlest indications of family ties – or lack thereof.
Amid his petty rivalry with a self-centred sister (Satomi Kobayashi) and his doomed attempt to win back Kyoko, Ryota finds relief, improbably, in his elderly mother’s wisecracking. A well-timed typhoon will ultimately put the family under the same roof for one night – another nod to Still Walking. After the storm, it’s time for Ryota to start living the rest of his life.
After the Storm opens on July 21
Want more articles like this? Follow SCMP Film on Facebook