Late Chrysanthemums

Watch Late Chrysanthemums

  • 1954
  • 1 hr 41 min
  • 7.4  (1,177)

Late Chrysanthemums is a beautiful and poignant Japanese drama film directed by Mikio Naruse, which was released in 1954. The film stars Haruko Sugimura, Ken Uehara, and Sadako Sawamura in the lead roles. The story is set in post-war Tokyo, and it revolves around the lives of four women who were once famous geishas but now have to rely on their former clients to make ends meet.

The film explores the themes of aging, modernization, and societal changes in Japan during the 1950s. The story unfolds over four vignettes, each of which tells the tale of one of the women at different periods in their lives. The first vignette introduces us to O-Some (Haruko Sugimura), a middle-aged single mother who runs a small bar to support herself and her son. She spends her days waiting for customers who never come, and her nights dreaming of the past when she was a geisha, and men would fight for her attention.

The second vignette introduces us to O-Mocha (Sadako Sawamura), who is now in her sixties and works as a street vendor selling flowers. She laments about the past in which she had many clients and was the mistress to rich men, but now she is alone with no one to take care of her.

The third part of the movie focuses on the life of O-Haru (Yuko Mochizuki), who is still a geisha in her late thirties. She is considering retirement and trying to find a suitor to take care of her in her old age. She visits her former patron, now a successful businessman with a family, to ask for money to start a new life.

The final part of the movie focuses on O-Yasu (Chikako Hosokawa), a woman who left the geisha profession to marry a wealthy man. Now having an unhappy marriage, she is struggling to find a place in a society that is quickly moving away from traditional values.

Throughout the film, we see the effects of time and the changing society on these four women who have come together to support each other in their struggles. They reminisce about the past when they were beautiful and in demand, but also bemoan the harsh realities of their current lives. As they grapple with their financial, emotional and social struggles, we get a glimpse of the societal changes in Japan during the post-war years.

In essence, Late Chrysanthemums is a melancholic character study, a beautiful film about aging and the relentless passage of time. The director, Mikio Naruse, skillfully tells the stories of these women with sensitivity and poignancy. The film is a meditation on aging and the struggle for independence, but it is also a tribute to the tenacity and resilience of women. With outstanding performances by the lead actors, beautiful cinematography, and excellent direction, Late Chrysanthemums is a must-watch film for anyone interested in Japanese cinema.

Late Chrysanthemums
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 41 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (1,177)