So this time I watched A Scene at the Sea by the famous Japanese director Takeshi “Beat” Kitano. This is one of his earlier movies, done in 1991. The Japanese title is あの夏、いちばん静かな海, which directly translated would be more like, “The most quiet sea that summer.” Unlike most of his other films, this one isn’t bloody. I learned about this movie from a Japanese friend at my university.
I really enjoyed the simple yet touching story, the late 80s Japanese fashion, and the summer scenes of Japan. The main characters in this movie are both deaf, so there actually isn’t that much traditional dialog. There are many other characters who interact with the main character, and those extra characters interact with each other while referring to the main character, but there isn’t any dialog between the main character and his girlfriend.
The basic plot is something like this…The main character has a 9-5 job as a trash collector, and one day he finds a busted surf board someone has discarded. He brings it home, fixes it, and suddenly he has a new hobby and starts ditching work to go surf. He is a total beginner with crappy gear and little ability at first, so everyone but his girlfriend ridicules him for trying to learn to surf. He never gives up though and he slowly wins the respect of the other surfers. Later his infatuation with surfing causes some problems, but brings some new opportunities as well. This film has a good mix of drama, comedy, and a light touch of romance. It all works well, and nothing is over done to the point of being cheesy. It all feels very natural.
This is a good feel good movie and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Japanese cinema!
If you’re looking for other Japanese film ideas, check out these other Japanese movies that I have watched.
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