Saturday, April 29, 2006

Noriko's Dinner Table

The story is about what happens to a Japanese family when one of the daughters, Noriko, ran away from home to Tokyo and got involved in a "family rental" business headed by her online friend, Kumiko.

Noriko felt disconnected with her family and wanted to go to different places and see new things. When she reached Tokyo, she sells her service to lonely people by pretending to be their family members. The film questions what it means to be a family by comparing the real family before Noriko ran away and the virtual families with Noriko as a member.

The situation in the family is seen from several perspectives: Noriko, her younger sister Yuka and the father. In each perspective, a different voice is used to narrate what happened to them. Yuka had the nicest voice in my opinion! She quickly understood why her elder sister left but her father was clueless for a long time. I felt very sad for the father when he desperately tried to find out the reason for her daughters' disapperance.

I think the use of flashbacks, dream sequences and telling the story in multiple perspectives very much enhanced the experience of watching this film. Very nice ending! Tension is built up to keep the audience guessing what would happen next but when the tension ends, a very good closure is provided.

Highly recommended!

Internet Movie Database Link

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