A Review for MovieLoversClub • Choose a film that represents the thing you miss most in quarantine.
A letter to epicures; an ode to both the culinary arts, and the medium of filmmaking (which happen to be the two things dearest to my heart). Tampopo has no limitations in its creativity, and it's very clear upon a second watch that director Juzo Itami knew he could make whatever he wanted; take any liberties with conventions, throw genre clichés into the mix while still coming off as utterly original, yet still end up with a final product that feels whole and true.
Tampopo cannot be confined by genre. It's a comedy, it's a romance, it's action, drama, adventure, noir, western, gangster, and even has a touch of jidaigeki for good measure. But somehow, no one facet takes over the balance. Like a good bowl of ramen, every scene is perfectly placed, and there isn't a single moment you can remove from the film without lessening its impact. In fact, the story structure may be the most brilliant part of the film. The way Tampopo effortlessly glides between locations and storylines is unlike anything I've ever seen. Its pacing feels almost like a live television broadcast, where after the main story feels a narrative pause coming along, it breaks, to an unrelated, new situation, where we spend just enough time away, that when we return to the central broadcast, we're hungry for more, and are fed development instantly. The scenes in between can't even be called filler either because each scenario teaches a subtle intricacy about food culture, and how we're affected by it.
Even the last shot of the film, as credits roll over it, shows a baby nursing with its mother; our first meals on this Earth, and we're already conditioned to the love of nourishment. For my fellow bon vivants, please check this one out for yourselves if you haven't already.
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