Watching her husband grovel before and flatter his boss, a woman wonders what happened to the man she married. When the summer comes, they decide to rent out their house in the city and return to their family home in the country; there, the woman meets a lonely old man who seems to embody many of the qualities she now finds missing in her husband. Kinoshita returns to a full blown melodrama after a period of intense experimentation; again, the mood is darker than in his immediate postwar films, as the sense that there’s simply “no turning back” from the changes that have transformed Japanese life so decisively feels stronger than ever. The “salary man” character, embodied by the husband, is increasingly treated with disdain in Japanese cinema throughout this period.
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