FIGHTING FRIENDS (WASEI KENKA TOMODACHI) (director/writer: Yasujirô Ozu; screenwriter: Kôgo Noda; cinematographer: Hideo Mohara; cast: Atsushi Watanabe (Ryukichi), Hisao Yoshitani (Yoshizo), Eiko Takamatsu(Omitsu), Ichiro Yuki (Okamura); Runtime: 14; MPAA Rating: NR; Art-Films; 1929-Japan-silent-in Japanese with English subtitles)
“A buddy comedy.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Yasujirô Ozu (“Passing Fancy”/”Floating Weeds”/”Woman of Tokyo”) directs this minor short silent film he co-wrote with Kôgo Noda. It’s a buddy comedy, poking fun at male camaraderie. Two truck drivers (Atsushi Watanabe & Hisao Yoshitani), roommates, fall in love with a pretty homeless girl (Eiko Takamatsu) they nearly run over, and invite her to live with them for free in their humble Tokyo tenement apartment. She acts as their housekeeper, and tries not to favor either man with her attention. She soon falls in love with a neighborhood local, a student,Okamura (Ichiro Yuki), and the truckers repair their damaged friendship over fighting for her love and wish her well. When they spot Okamura with a bar hostess, they tell the young lady to dump him. But it turns out the bar hostess was his sister. It ends with Okamura marrying the woman and traveling with her by train for their resort honeymoon and the good-natured truck drivers, despite their broken hearts, put on a happy face to wave good-bye to them as they leave.
REVIEWED ON 3/7/2013 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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