by the window, directed by Rikiya Imaizumi, is masterful. The film doesn’t shy away from tackling complex issues, such as the nature of love or creativity, and tackles them in a wonderfully naturalistic way.
Some of what stands out most from by the window this is how he does not reveal his cards right away. The film begins with its protagonist, a freelance writer and former novelist named Ichikawa Shigemi, interviewing a high school novelist whose most recent work seems to have resonated with him. Afterwards, Ichikawa and the novelist, Kubo Rua, develop an unusual friendship, as Kubo offers to show him the real-world individuals his novel’s protagonist is based on.
For the most part, however, the film is about Ichikawa dealing with the ramifications of a case his wife, Sai, is carrying on with his close friend, writer Arakawa En. Ichikawa is aware of the matter, but reluctant to confront Sai about it. This is because Ichikawa feels no surprise or shock at the case, and has become wracked with guilt over whether he might just be emotionally dead inside.
The first half of by the window primarily revolves around the interactions between Ichikawa and Kubo. Although the pairing of an older man with a younger girl has been common in everything from the films of Luc Besson Leon say, lolita, the two characters have superb chemistry. The two share an indifference to the world, and Ichikawa seems to be trying to figure something out about his lack of creative inspiration when interacting with Kubo. Even though this section of the film frequently deals with gripping subject matter, the naturalistic writing manages to make it work.
The second half of the film more directly tackles Ichikawa dealing with his wife’s case. Although viewers aren’t given many details about how and why Ichikawa, Arakawa, and Sai are friends, other than the fact that they all work in the publishing industry, the film deftly shows the tangled web of their relationships. interpersonal.
by the window excels due to its solid script and nuanced performances from nearly every cast. Very little happens in the film, and it plays out almost entirely as a sequence of one-on-one conversations Ichikawa has with other characters. These include exchanges between Ichikawa and Kubo, with Sai, and with Arakawa, as well as the various strange acquaintances on which Kubo based the protagonist of his novel. Although many of these characters only appear briefly in the film, each interaction adds thematically to the film; the strength of the game allows it. Well-composed shots, using a number of visually repeating elements, further accentuate by the window.
Additionally, even though the film focuses on Ichikawa’s emotional arc, Sai and Arakawa are developed as sophisticated characters in their own right. Sai struggles with the fact that she loves Ichikawa but he cannot reciprocate, while Arakawa – despite being a successful novelist – struggles under the weight of his perceived inferiority to Ichikawa. While Ichikawa only produced one novel and never wrote anything after that, Arakawa believes that Ichikawa would have become the top writer had he continued.
Whereas by the window has an open-ended conclusion that some viewers may not find emotionally satisfying, perhaps it’s just an accurate reflection of how the questions its characters explore lack real answers. Regardless of, by the window is a journey to take with its characters.
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near the window (Japanese: 窓辺にて)-Japan. Dialog in Japanese. Directed by Imaizumi Rikiya. First released on October 26, 2022 at the Tokyo International Film Festival. Duration 2h23. With Inagaki Goro, Nakamura Yuri, Tamashiro Tina.
This article is part of Escape from the cinemaThe dedicated cover of the 2022 Tokyo International Film Festival.
This article was also published in No man is an islandan online publication focusing on the links between everyday life and politics. No man is an island brought to you by the team behind New Bloom Magazine.