Harmonium (Fuchi ni tatsu)
Director: Kôji Fukada
Cast: Mariko Tsutsui, Tadanobu Asano, Kanji Furutachi
Language: Japanese with English subtitles
Country of Origin: Japan-France 2016 120 mins. (12A)
Jury Prize Un Certain Regard 2016 Cannes International Film Festival
Released by Eureka Entertainment
'Harmonium,' a slow burn, dark family drama, awarded the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, is hold your attention cinema with the power to shock.
Toschio (Kanji Furutachi) offers the mysterious Yasaka (Tadanobu Asano), recently released from prison, a job in his family run workshop and a room in his home. Why? Yasaka maybe an old acquaintance, but the gesture isn't out of friendship or kindness. Toshio's wife Akie (Mariko Tsutsui) seems ill-at-ease with their guest but his charm and goodwill in teaching their daughter Hotaru (Momone Shinokawa) to play the harmonium wins the day and signs of flirtation are seen between Akie and Yasaka, but who made the first move remains a mystery. Family life will change and tragedy awaits. Move on eight years and Toshio has taken on a new apprentice Takashi (Taiga), but who is he? Yasaka's presence never leaves Toschio's family.
With masterful performances throughout, the camera slowly slowly explores the house and neighbourhood offering a sense of isolation and mystery as guilt and emotional reality erode family life and a marriage, destroyed by a hidden past.