Otoko wa tsurai yo (Am I Trying) (It's Tough Being a Man) (Tora-san Our Lovable Tramp) (1974)
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Critic Reviews for Otoko wa tsurai yo (Am I Trying) (It's Tough Being a Man) (Tora-san Our Lovable Tramp)
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Audience Reviews for Otoko wa tsurai yo (Am I Trying) (It's Tough Being a Man) (Tora-san Our Lovable Tramp)
Kiyoshi Atsumiâs Tora-san is the illegitimate son of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Apparently they took a trip to Japan and romanced a geisha. Obviously Iâm joking, but Atsumi has a gift for physical comedy. This movie is hinged on his impeccable sense of comedic timing. The narrative structure is simple and formulaic. It is merely a vehicle in which to display Atsumiâs talents. Several scenes are completely unnecessary in relation to the plot line, but all is forgiven because they offer more comedic romps for our Tora-san. There is some artistic merit to the film, however. The cinematography is dazzling at times. There are many slow panning shots across the lovely country side which are juxtaposed nicely with shots of Tora-san. Yoji Yamada, the director, also knows how to stage a scene. For instance, when Hiroshi is asking Tora-san for his blessing to pursue his sister Sakura, the scene is shot in a small confining room. Tora-san is sitting on a table looking down at Hiroshi who is sitting on the floor. Directly between them in the background is an open window outside of which is a long metal pole. The pole is angled so that it lines up with Tora-sanâs gaze. It looks as if Tora-san is literally shooting a dagger with his eyes. It is a clever touch. Yamada knows he is creating a simple comedy, but he is still an artist and that is evident. Throughout the film it is clear that Yamada loves his character Tora-san. Being both the writer and director, he has created a flawed yet lovable character. Whenever Tora-san loses his temper, it is portrayed in such a way that we have to forgive him. Even when he slapped his sister, I understood why he did it and still found him endearing. He predated Americaâs Archie Bunker in that sense, as the lovable oaf with a heart of gold. It is easy to see why this became such a popular film series. Tora-san exudes a warm quality which strikes home with people. His flaws make him approachable and human, but his comedic hi jinx and pratfalls make him hilarious and entertaining. Tora-san is a timeless character whose shortcomings make him charming and whose golden heart makes him lovable.