The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Udon うどん

This was probably a sleeper in Japan, but for me, it was absolutely delightful to watch!

It's the story of a young man (Yusuke Santamaria as Kosuke Matsui) whose father runs an Udon 'restaurant' in the Udon capital of Japan; Takamatsu, Kagawa, Japan.
If what they said is true, there are more than 900 Udon 'restaurants' in this area, which has roughly half the population of a large city.
In other words, the 900 represents the fact that a majority of these Udon 'raunts' are simply homes where local folk make and sell the noodle dish to anyone that stops on by.

Kosuke hates Udon, and he resents his father, so he leaves Japan for NYC, to make it in the world of stand-up comedy.
Of course, he fails miserably and after six years, he returns to his hometown.
He finds work as a magazine distributor, and discovers by chance that people are interested in restaurant guides, so he returns to the office to pitch an idea he has about the local fare; Udon.

Like most, all Japanese films, the story takes off at a phenomenal pace, but not once does it leave the viewer in a daze.
Every moment is clever, witty, or poignant, and it always makes perfect sense, too (even when the writer TRIES to leave one hanging, if not for a few moments).

Kosuke's brainstorm leads to a frenetic boom in tourism, with people from all over Japan & beyond wanting to make a pilgrimage to the Udon capital.
Again, even knowing ahead of time what lie ahead, the writer & director made the transition seamlessly, and it was time for the tears to be shed.

UNLIKE most, Asian films, Udon did something uncommon, which was to give us an unexpected, happy ending after the down side!
I really appreciated it in this, particular instance, and when you view Udon, you'll understand why.



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