SWEET RED BEAN PASTE (2015)
A film by Naomi Kawase
Cast: Kirin Kiki, Masatoshi Nagase, Kyara Uchida
This jewel of emotions and poetry is perhaps the most accessible film by Naomi Kawase. He made the opening of the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes 2015.
Sentaro (Masatoshi Nagase) is the manager of a small bakery which specialises in a traditional Japanese pastry known as ‘dorayaki’. You see spring is here and Sentaro is unhappy, he goes to work like a machine, the job became mechanical to him and it is just an other day that he is going to dread. He chats with a young school girl who has her own problems, namely with an inattentive mother. One day an elderly woman Tokue (Kirin Kiki) shows up at the shop at asks for a job. He brush her off. But one day she return to give him some red bean to taste. When Sentaro decide to taste them he find himself surprise it is so good it persuades Sentaro to give her a chance.
The is film is based on the books by Tetsuya Akikawa, Kawase is is a story of 3 lost people who find each other of which Tokue will teach them about life but will have a sense of direction toward their own lives. The film takes us and teach us about the cooking of the beans it is a long tedious process. Tokue is trying to teach Sentaro about cooking the beans the odor, the scent, talking to the beans where they came from. Slowly as the story goes little by little the 3 characters has secrets that will be unraveled. You see it is 3 lost soul who found each other and who needed each other in order to move on to the next step. Life is a series of road that you will take from time to time. Also life is trying to tell you something and most people are not listening but Tokue as she gotten older has began to listen to it and to find her way to the other 2 lost soul’s life. Here is a poetic jewel of a film filled with emotion which at times will be a tear jerker, but hey! life is beautiful.