“Good Morning” – Chris Luedtke

Like my final impressions of Good Morning, I am unsure as to how I should begin this review. I don’t have any preface prepared like I usually do, relating to the content within. Don’t take that as a bad thing right off the bat, but do take it with a grain of salt.

If you’ve seen other Yasujiro Ozu films, then you’ll be familiar with his typical turmoil within the family. Here we have a regular suburban neighborhood set in a ’50s-style Tokyo, where a small challenge of parent to child slowly atom bombs into something much bigger.

Well, that’s what the plot would lead you to believe. The trials between father and sons is rather petty, as the children want a television set, but the father refuses to get one for them. After they mouth off to him, he demands they be silent. But the boys take the vow in a monk-like fashion and refuse to talk to anyone except for each other. It’s not nearly as upsetting as Ozu’s other works when it comes to inter-family turmoil. Rather, Ozu concentrates on the outside world, which is a new twist to his old methods.

Props to characterization also. People in this film can be very cliched but also realistic. The children are very selfish, loud, and obnoxious, like they always have been in Ozu’s films. The neighbors are the new addition, though. Two in particular are very gossipy and presumptuous, which helps Ozu bring out the petty side of human beings. However, this could be said for a lot of the characters, as most of them show some sort of nasty side.

Unfortunately, these are the brightest aspects of Good Morning. The plot isn’t a thinking man’s game, which comes as no surprise to those familiar with Ozu’s work. The conflict within this one is rather weak, and the family doesn’t exactly appear torn by what happens, which doesn’t make sympathy a real common thing within the film. If you see it at your local video store, don’t hesitate to give it a shot, but be warned that it’s certainly not Ozu’s best piece.

Rating: ★★★☆

-Chris Luedtke

Leave a Reply