a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Kawa no soko kara konnichiwa / 川の底からこんにちは / Sawako Decides

leave a comment »

Kawa no soko kara konnichiwa is a bit stealthier and less of a commercial trifle than it appears. Young and prolific director, Yuya Ishii, continues his explorations of losers and reduced expectations of contemporary Japan with incisive wit. Hikari Mitsushima (Love Exposure) effortlessly carries Kawa no soko kara konnichiwa as Sawako, a young woman beaten down by the vicissitudes of Tokyo and reluctantly returning to her hometown to run her ailing father’s failing clam-packing business. Between her own failures and emotional baggage, the concerted resistance of the small town folk working at the factory and her weasely love interest, Kenichi (Masashi Endo), she manages to overcome the obstacles. The twist, though, is in rallying around everyone’s, and her own, mediocrity. With deadpan accuracy and a bevy of great characters, Ishii sets up shibboleths and hilariously knocks them down. But the final scene, where Sawako accepts her relationship with Kenichi admitting “I’m stuck with him for life because I am below average,” the comedy suddenly deflates as the credits begin to roll.

Originally published in EL Magazine, June 2010

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: