Shall We Dance? (Shall We Dansu?) Reviews
A warm story about an unptight and dutiful 40 something middle management accountant who is finding that his dream of having his own house, pretty wife and young daughter is not turning out to be as fulfilling as he thought it was going to be. As he commutes from his dreary job once more, he glances from the train up to a dance studio opposite one of the train stops and sees a beautiful but melancholic woman staring out the dance room window. Eventually he plucks up the courage to get off the train and make his way to the studio.
His initial plan was to meet and maybe even have a relationship with the mysterious dancer. But to do so, he has to enroll in the dance class. Quite quickly he realises that dancing makes him happier and more alive. But keeps it secret from his wife. It seems that in Japan, dancing with someone other than your wife is considered slightly pervy and shameful. His wife soon notices the difference in demeanour and suspects an affair - but in a way his enjoyment of dancing is worse than a physical affair and she feels left out and isolated.
It's a gentle film about searching for a more fulfilled life - for some its ballroom dancing.
Never mind the Richard Gere-Jennifer Lopez remake of the said film, as I think it fails in comparison to the original film.
The Japanese version is very charming. You can see the determination of the main character just to learn ballroom dancing in order to escape from frustration and happiness in his life.
As with all foreign language film. Three warnings:
Do not watch the English dubbed version.
Watch the subtitled version.
And do not waste your time with the American remake of this film. (this is the one to see folks)