a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Musubime / 結び目 / The Knot

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In Musubime (The Knot), director Yuichi Onuma moves from his tales of urban otaku to a chamber drama of small town sexual intrigue. Mukku Akazawa plays Asako, frustrated and married to a nice, but uninspiring working stiff, Taro (Masaki Miura). She also takes care of his father (Ueda Kouichi), suffering from the onslaught of old-age dementia, reacting with violence and increasingly bizarre behavior. She crosses paths with Keisuke, a taciturn and troubled laundry shop owner, and sharer of a dark secret with her. He lives with his wife, the bubbly Akane (Sou Hirosawa).  As secrets are revealed and relationships strained to breaking points, each character, save Keisuke, comes to revelations and resolutions. Onuma sensitively directs a perfect ensemble through a somewhat fantastic plot, but everyone is so good, disbelief is easily suspended.  His sense of the simple pleasures and boredom of Japanese small town life, the details of stunningly dull townscapes and the dark undercurrent of unspoken desires and community histories show Onuma expanding his oeuvre and his continuing critique and love of Japanese society.

Originally published in EL Magazine, July 2010

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

July 1, 2010 at 12:56 am

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