Sometimes I talk about movies in our social media posts. This time I decided to write here on our blog.
The film I talk about today is Kamome Shokudo (Kamome Diner), a Japanese film from 2006. This film has a great number of quiet but loyal fans. Among my friends too, there are some (even an Indian woman!) who list this film as one of their most favourite Japanese films.
I have watched this film a few times before. This time, I watched it also as a story around a Japanese woman who started her own business overseas, like me.
The film is set on Helsinki, Finland. The protagonist is a middle-aged Japanese woman who opens a diner there. Her diner, or rather she, eventually becomes a magnet for two Japanese women and various local Finlanders.
Her relationship with two Japanese women (and also a Finnish woman) is about sisterhood. Each woman has a background and is unique. They are mature with capacity and empathy while keeping politeness like Japanese. When a person needs to make a decision herself, others calmly observe. When a person needs warmth from someone, others calmly stay with her.
Also in this film, there are lots of fascinating scenes for foodies and coffee-lovers. The film shows the food and coffee very lovingly and attractively. It reminds us that relishing good food/coffee with full attention is an absolutely rich moment of life.
The protagonist is very particular about rice ball, Japan’s soul food. And she talks about an episode of rice ball and her father. What kind of episode? Please see yourself :) :)
I love rice balls, too. One of my five ever-green favourite foods is the rice ball with canned tuna made by my mother. It’s easy to make, anyone can make it, but the one made by her is far better than anyone else’s.
Food/drink are tasty not only because of themselves but including the relationship with the person who made them.
The film portraits the food and the connection of the people around the food in a calm happy mood. It lets you feel “It’s OK that I live in this world, it’s OK that my life is messy, life is actually simple and can be happy if you wish it to be, and everything is going to be OK”.
When the protagonist was asked why it was Finland where she started a diner, she answers “I thought even I could get along in this country”.
I got that feeling, too. I felt that even a person like me could get along in India.
There’s a question in the dialogue, “What do you want to do if the world ends tomorrow?”
This is the question I sometimes ask myself.
In my messy life, I have done what I wanted to do as much as I could. These things made my life look like a patchwork with pieces of totally mismatching colours. My parents think my life doesn't have any core.
But at least I wouldn’t need to regret "not doing this and that although I could have done". I would think “my life was a hodgepodge of messy bits and pieces, but it is very me and my life was fun for me”. I am happy I feel this way.
Like the contents of the lost suitcase, like the 20 years spent for nursing care of family members, the past is gone forever.
And we tend to think about the future which is not here yet and live the moment with “unfulfilled” feeling.
But this film tells us to live each moment fully, relish the moment lovingly, with full attention and happiness.
I wish some of you watch the film after reading this and enjoy it. When you watch it, please share what you felt in Comments below.
Aaaand for those who watched, the bonus video for you is of course - The opening song of Gatchaman!
Gatchaman is a Japanese superhero animation TV series from 1970s. Every single kid of my generation in Japan watched it and could sing the theme songs fully. Even we had some versions of parody songs.
That feeling when you cannot recall the lyrics of a song which you could sing automatically before!