Osaka Elegy by Kenji Mizoguchi Short Review

One of the major themes that is present in the film revolves around the issues of gender relations, ideally between fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters as well as that of men and their mistresses. In the film, Ayako is noted to have left her work in the pharmaceutical company to become Asai’s concubine who in return does give her money to help out her father. It is through this theme that the director is able to shed light on the plight of women in the Japanese society where they are forced to sacrifice their position in the society along with their chances of happiness for the sake of their male members of the family. The film, therefore, makes a commentary on the plight of women living in a male-dominated society. By honoring the family, they are left with misery.

Another theme that is present in the film is that of the modernistic revolution where the director presents the presence of the mixture of the modern as well as the tradition existing in a similar time and place. Ayako finds herself residing in a vibrant and busy Osaka where she is a fashionable and modern woman. This element is also observed in the film where she is described as a modern woman with domestic aspirations and romantic goals. The co-existence of the two lifestyles presented by the director is a significant theme since it highlights the struggle that exists between the unfamiliar modern ethos and traditional Japan. The modernistic revolution is presented in the form of the pharmaceutical corporation as well as the characters wearing business suits that is indicative of modern influences in society.