Repast

Meshi

dir. Mikio Naruse

TIFF Cinematheque - Retrospective

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The great Setsuko Hara stars as an unhappy wife who considers walking out of her stagnant marriage in this moving, masterful drama by Mikio Naruse.
"One of Naruse's finest works" (Audie Bock) and a favourite film of Susan Sontag, Repast features a brilliantly nuanced performance by Setsuko Hara as an Osaka housewife who feels trapped and unhappy in her marriage to a stockbroker (Ken Uehara). Ironically, the couple married for love and not by arrangement, but their childless relationship has after only five years stagnated into domestic routine. A surprise visit from the husband's niece, on the run from her parents, galvanizes the unhappy Hara, and when she takes the troublesome young woman back home to Tokyo, she contemplates never returning to her husband. Profound, subtle, full of the heart-tugging emotional roil and exquisite social observation for which Naruse is celebrated, Repast is "a quiet and devastating film, comparable to contemporary films by Rossellini, Antonioni, and Ida Lupino in its nuanced portrait of feminine alienation" (Chris Fujiwara).