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Against the background of an Australian desert, Sandy, a geologist, and Hiromitsu, a Japanese businessman, play out a story of human inconsequence in the face of the blistering universe. The end of the journey leaves no one capable of going back to where they started from.Written by
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"Japanese Story" is a fascinating exploration of gender and cultural roles, with a more incisive take on the contrasts than "Lost in Translation," let alone than in the simplicity of "The Last Samurai."
The Australian outback is a harsher but beautiful landscape of blokes and sheilas than the Manhattan of "Sex and the City" but it brings into relief similar questions of expectations of guys and gals in life and sex.
Toni Colette's "Sandy" is one tough geologist required to guide Gotaro Tsunashima to his father's company's environment-destroying mining businesses. Each suspiciously views the other through narrow stereotypical lenses that block out the complexities of their real lives and potential.
They very gradually adapt to each other, opening each other up to new experiences in quite unexpected ways, even though their language and life communication is still limited. She is the shaggy, physical, confident one; he is the smooth, intellectual, diffident one. "Sandy" is aggressive in a way much more typical of males in U.S. movies, while "Tachibana" is redolent of the farm wife in "The Bridges of Madison County."
The third act is even more startling in its catharsis for "Sandy" as she finds inner strengths and vulnerabilities to deal with her responsibilities across the cultural chasm.
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