This film's setting is the title village of Oshika, in mountainous Nagano Prefecture, where for 300-odd years villagers have acted in an annual "Oshika kabuki" theatrical event. The film centers on a love triangle among the three late-middle aged main characters which Sakamoto carries off with a light comedic touch.
Harada plays the owner of a local venison restaurant aimed at tourists. He's also a favorite at the autumn theater festival, and is getting ready for his turn on stage in the show's main role, rehearsing feverishly. Suddenly his wife (Okusu), who had run off with his childhood best friend (Kishibe) 18 years before, reappears in the village. She has begun to show signs of dementia, so Kishibe's character has brought her home.
The highlight of "Oshika-mura" is undoubtedly the three leading actors' easygoing on-screen coordination. However, the script by Sakamoto and long-time collaborator Haruhiko Arai must also be given its due. The three main characters each have a rich contemporary flavor, and are given lines laced with touching elements of everyday kindness and human weakness. Even the supporting cast members have a certain rhythm in their roles, subtly conveying both the innocence and comedy of human nature over the course of the film.
Title: Oshikamura Sodoki Also Known As: 大鹿村騒動記 / Oshikamura Sodoki Country: Japan Language: Japanese Subtitle: English Year: 2011 Genre: Drama