Entertainment Weekly - 09/08/2006
"Ken Takakura, a great rain-creased oak of an actor delivers a quietly massive performance." -- Grade: B+
Box Office - 10/01/2006 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "[The film] is a profound, powerful, heartfelt odyssey that cuts to the core of what it means to be a loving and virtuous human being."
Ken Takakura (THE YAKUZA) gives a career-redefining performance as an old fisherman in RIDING ALONE FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES. Estranged from his son for many years, Gou-ichi (Takakura) receives an unexpected call from his daughter-in-law, Rie (Shinobu Terajima), asking him to come to Tokyo to visit his son, Ken-ichi (Kiichi Nakai), who is in the hospital suffering from a stomach ailment. Gou-ichi decides to make the trip against his better judgment, but when he arrives, his son refuses to see him as he is still bearing the scars of the unspoken reasons why they were torn apart. Determined to reunite them, Rie gives Gou-ichi a videotape of an article Ken-ichi wrote about Li Jiamin, a Chinese folk opera master from Yunnan Province. Ken-ichi had promised Li that he would come back and film him performing "Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles," an opera based on one of the stories in the literary classic ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS; Gou-ichi makes it his mission to travel to southern China, find Li, and film the performance himself. With the help of tour guides Lingo (Qiu Lin) and Jasmine (Jiang Wen)--and a fabulous interval with young Yang Yang (Yang Zhenbo)--Gou-ichi takes off to the great unknown, trying to do right by the son who still appears to hate him. Takakura plays the old man with a quiet, dignified demeanor, moving slowly and barely speaking at all. Zhang Yimou (HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, RAISE THE RED LANTERN) directs the film simply and beautifully, allowing the fascinating characters and compelling story to develop at a natural, alluring pace. This very different kind of road picture is sincere and emotional, with a playful sense of humor. Be sure to bring plenty of hankies.
Fathers And Sons |
Theatrical Release |