not that lonely. I kind of like being by myself."
Tokyo Marigold is a beautifully understated film. Loosely
based off a novel by the great Mariko Hayashi (One
Year Later) this film is written and directed by
Jun Ichikawa, whos films always contain a complexity
underneath the quiet and subtle style and narrative. Tokyo
Marigold is a film that just works. To me it is near perfection.
I love how the richness of the emotions or more specifically
of the character emerge from the simplicity. The film is centered
around Eriko, a lonely self-absorbed woman living without
direction through a life in which she seeks happiness an meaning.
Perhaps persuaded by expectations or the pressure of conformity,
Eriko discovers the emotions of falling in love and disappointment.
Ichikawa uses the metaphor of the marigold as an emotional
backdrop or connection to the story, as it is a flower that
blooms only during the season before an inevitable decay.
Ichikawa never forces the issue with the film and as we look
closer it becomes apparent that the essence of both the film
and the characters is what is hidden. This realization comes
to Eriko in a fitting ending as she watches herself on a TV
commercial. Tokyo Marigold is a film of such rich complexity,
most of which lies within the character of Eriko. Eriko is
wonderfully played by Rena Tanaka. Tanaka gives an endearing
performance that flawlessly works with the understated beauty
of Ichikawas direction. Told with a quiet simplicity,
and shot with radiant color patterns, Tokyo Marigold has the
stylish tone of a lyrical dream.