The Sea Is Watching (2003)
Kei Kumai's Umi Wa Miteita (The Sea Watches) has a script written by the late Japanese master Akira Kurosawa. O-Shin (Nagiko Tohno) is a geisha. One day a samurai named Fusanosuke (Hidetaka Yoshioka) appears in her town on the run after having killed a man. She assists him by cutting his hair. The two fall in love, despite the protestations from O-Shin's friend Kikuno (Misa Shimizu). Eventually Fusanosuke leaves, only to return one day and reveal that he is engaged. The second half of the film involves O-Shin again falling in love with a samurai, this one named Ryosuke (Masatoshi Nagase). The Sea Watches was screened at the San Sebastian Film Festival. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Sea Is Watching
It has been directed by Kei Kumai as a film that seems more melodramatic and sentimental than Kurosawa's norm.
Filled with love and melancholy, it's a fitting, fond epilogue to [Kurosawa].
I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb by saying the Sea that Kurosawa must have envisioned had to be a whole lot more compelling and focused than the one now delivered by veteran director Kei Kumai.
An undistinguished affair.
[T]here were times when The Sea is Watching bored me. But Kumai and Kurosawa won me back with the final scenes, which are stark and beautiful, and a fitting finale for one of the world's great filmmakers.
sad and compelling, yet laced with an underlying message of dignity and hope. Perhaps Kumai is no Kurosawa - but I don't know if Kurosawa could have done it much better.
It's not only worth seeing as "Kurosawa's last story," but also simply as a good, solid drama.
While this material isn't necessarily up to the standards of Kurosawa's best work, it does warrant at least a look.
Those who delight in small-scale virtues may find their interest held by the meticulous detail that Kumai lavishes on various Japanese rituals -- everything from pouring tea to holding swords. Everyone else, however, need not check in.
An absorbing slice of a lost world that's actually very reminiscent of Kurosawa's underappreciated 1957 film, The Lower Depths.
Though formally beautiful, Sea Is Watching is remarkably trite in comparison to the great Japanese films on the subject.
Audience Reviews for The Sea Is Watching
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