In an interview accompanying this DVD, the film's director Abbas Kirostami talks about how it was only possible to make this story after he had acquired the necessary life experience. Perhaps this is a strategy that more directors need to pursue because in this realisation Mr Kirostami's understanding of the central character certainly pays off. Both the old man, Tadashi Okuno, and the beautiful object of desire, Rin Takanashi, turn in outstanding performances in a compelling but low-key story. While there is certainly a girl, there is no sordid exploitation of the female form, and while there are no guns, there is a hint of offscreen (imminent) violence. Instead Mr Kirostami allows the audience the space to apply their own understanding of the events that we see unfold. Using a Rashemonian device, we can see the events again with another implied meaning. In this film, as in all good cinema, you decide what you have just seen and what, ultimately, it all means.
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