A divorced man struggles to regain his estranged family’s trust while sheltering with them during a typhoon, in the latest film from celebrated Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda (Like Father, Like Son, Our Little Sister).
After the Storm
After the Storm recalls the limpid beauty of scenery after a summer rain, and the feeling that, even though nothing has changed, everything seems different. The latest film by celebrated Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda tells with quiet clarity the tale of a divorced man who struggles to regain his family's trust.
Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) is a failed writer, a third-rate detective, and a hardened gambler. As the film's title seems to suggest, the salient moments of his life have already passed before the beginning of the story. He won an important literary award when he was young, but his promising career vanished into thin air. Now, his father has died and his wife has left him. He adores his young son, but seems resigned to his position on the sidelines of the boy's life. One night, when a typhoon strikes, the broken family is forced to spend the night together at Ryota's mother's home. The ensuing interaction, free of melodrama and forced catharsis, is bittersweet and tender in true Kore-eda style.
Followers of Kore-eda's cinema will recognize many of the themes at play here, such as the attempt to find harmony in a community and the traumatic impact of divorce on a child's life. Shot in a housing complex where the director lived as a child, the film is supported by an exceptional cast featuring an unusually irreverent Kirin Kiki as Ryota's mother. Gentle and melancholy, yet very amusing, After The Storm shows the lighter side of Kore-eda's cinema, and makes a welcome addition to his complex and fascinating body of work about contemporary families.