Set in contemporary Tokyo, TOKYO SONATA is a story of an ordinary Japanese family of four. The father, Ryuhei Sasaki, like any other Japanese businessman, is faithfully devoted to his work. His wife Megumi manages the house and struggles to retain a bond with Takashi, her oldest son who is in college, and the youngest, Kenji, a sensitive boy in elementary school. The quiet unraveling of the family begins when Ryuhei unexpectedly loses his job. Facing completely unfamiliar circumstances, he decides not to tell his family and begins his lonely sojourn into the world of the secretly unemployed. Along with many other businessmen that save face by concealing their shameful reality from family and friends, Ryuhei pretends to go to work each day, when, in fact, he kills time in libraries and parks. His lies and torment go unnoticed by Takashi, who becomes increasingly despondent and alienated from his family, and Megumi, who can no longer summon the will to keep her family together. Meanwhile, Kenji’s journey begins to mirror his father’s solitary plight. Although his father vehemently refuses to allow Kenji to play the piano, the boy uses his school lunch money to pay for clandestine lessons. What began as lies created as means to survive, gradually leads the family into unforeseeable destruction. In the hands of director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, renowned for his suspenseful films, this story probes the dark side of human nature and the social problems that confront contemporary Japan. Kurosawa’s portrayal of the breakdown and redemption of Japan’s “ordinary family” is every bit as gripping as his previous works. (Source)
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