The Life of Oharu (Saikaku ichidai onna)1952
The Life of Oharu (Saikaku ichidai onna) (1952)
The Life of Oharu (Saikaku ichidai onna) Photos
as Shonzaemon, Oharu's Father
as Otsubone Yoshioka
as Kohei Sasaya
as Tasaburo Hishiya
as Myokai, the Old Nun
as Yakichi Senya
as Taisaburo Hishiya
as Old Man
as Fumikichi, Sasaya's Friend
as Yataemon Isobei
as Kikuno Koji
Critic Reviews for The Life of Oharu (Saikaku ichidai onna)
Mizoguchi's limpid heartbreaker is also a fierce denunciation of the subjugation of women, the power of wealth, and Japan's unjust though splendid traditions.
The Life of Oharu is a quiet and stately picture, but no less a passionate, searing critique of society's treatment of women
What really elevates Mizoguchi's work above other films of this type ... is his abstraction of the problem, looking beyond individuals at a set of behaviours and ideals that have no clear progenitor.
Oharu can only endure, and the viewer must endure along with her.
It's a devastating journey, and for Mizoguchi, a direct, blunt statement of purpose.
Audience Reviews for The Life of Oharu (Saikaku ichidai onna)
Cripes. Can't anything go right for this woman. Here we have the rags to riches to rags to rags to riches to rags to rags story of poor Oharu who just can't catch a break. Great cinema and a very memorable performance from Kinuyo Tanaka.
After recently seeing "Sansho the Bailiff" and the spectacular "Ugetsu," I was disappointed with Mizoguchi's "The Life of Oharu." Elegantly made but tedious, it's an overlong, episodic tale of a good-hearted woman who is born into privilege but eventually becomes a common prostitute (alas, not even a successful one). The film's stilted, melodramatic structure just sends her lurching from one living situation to another, while inevitably turning every promising development tragic. What's more, the lead actress doesn't seem pretty enough for the role -- was she really the only woman worthy of bearing a royal child? The filmmaking is much more impressive than the script.
[font=Century Gothic]In "The Life of Oharu," Oharu(Kinuyo Tanaka) is a fifty-year old prostitute of noble birth who once upon a time lived at the Imperial Court. It was there that a lowly young retainer, Katsunosuke(Toshiro Mifune), fell in love with her. At first, Oharu resisted due to societal pressures, but eventually gave in. One day, they were accidentally discovered at an inn by the authorities. For the crime of associating with someone of low birth, Oharu and her parents were banished from Kyoto. Katsunosuke suffered an even worse fate by beheading. His last words were a message to Oharu, advising her to marry for true love.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi, "The Life of Oharu" is a quietly devastating portrayal of a deeply hypocritical society. Everybody who condemns Oharu for her past actions is also partially responsible for her downfall. It is strange how money is so important in a society that prizes status so much. And the movie is also a timely reminder of how all of us in this day and age are so close to falling off the ledge that we are living on.[/font]
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