Our opening introduction to Mr & Mrs Maeda follows the pair as they hurriedly stash out of sight all their valued possessions, for on the way up the apartment stairs their son's boss with an accountant to present accusations of large-scale embezzlement... So begins this brilliant cynical social satire you could almost say chamber drama, stay tuned, unravelling in a volatile atmosphere the offbeat story has some extraordinary surprises ahead... The outstanding film is a deliriously black humoured, a distinctive collaboration between two masters of their art director Yûzô Kawashima and writer Kaneto Shindô,. Complimenting the tale is vibrant expressive colour cinematography, composed cleverly within the tight settings by Nobuo Munekawa . Coming back to the film after some years spellbound throughout compels me to give an extra shout-out for this classic film, one that still mysteriously lingers somewhat in obscurity. A knockout cast of flawed characters excel in the confined apartment setting , but one role in particular I will single out. Every captivating performance from Ayako Wakao is always her best, here she is exceptional as the titular character. . Yasuzo Masumura reflected in a 1970 interview that Wakao was, "selfish and calculating ... she's hardly a pure-hearted woman and she knows it."... A formidable natural, this is the very essence of her chic, scintillating role as the firms manipulative accountant Yukie, "The Graceful Brute" ! Say no more, Shitoyakana kedamono for me a treasured essential of Classic Japanese Cinema. Highly Entertaining Highly Recommended !!
The Graceful Brute
Comedy / Drama
The Graceful Brute
Comedy / Drama
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A greedy, materialistic family attempts to cover-up the embezzlement committed by the son while keeping their other schemes active. They discover there are other, equally conniving players involved.
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November 19, 2022 at 10:10 AM
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"selfish and calculating"...
Clever and Original!
The original story of amazingly greedy people with cheat, embezzle and corruption, is an original, written by Kaneto Shindo. It's all set in this little apartment of the Maeda family. The son's taking money from the talent agency that he's working for. But the money's somehow missing. Who's taking it? Parents, who act like they're poor, seem to be hiding something. Or is that the daughter, the writer's mistress? Maybe the tax man, who was helping the agency to evade a tax? The singer looks like he lost so much money, too. Who's the most greedy, clever, smart, sexy and strongest but never seems to show that and always behave gracefully?? This absolute classic (directed by a legend Yuzo Kawashima),beautifully shot and acted should be seen more...and watch out the title role, played by the greatest Ayako Wakao!
The Graceful Brute, or how Ayako Wakao steals again the show
I have nothing to say about this well done dark comedy other than the goddess rocks harder than ever, while looking at her best. The only real downside of this movie is that the plot gets a bit jumbled and difficult to follow towards the finale, hence I give it an 8,5 instead of a 9. Other than that, it's highly recommended, especially to fans of Ayako Wakao such as myself.