This is another early Kurosawa film, this one a sort of romance comedy-drama set in post-war Tokyo. It follows a couple taking the train into Tokyo (at the time of occupation) and spending the day there, with just thirty-five yen between them.
The film alternates between sweet couple-y scenes, scenes that intermix youthful angst and post-war grief and directionlessness, and earnest reaches for beauty and hope in seemingly hopeless settings. The last example actually goes so far as to include breaking the fourth wall, as characters of the film plead for applause to hearten them.
Apparently, Kurosawa considered whether audiences clapped or not the measure of whether the film succeeded – apparently both Japanese and American audiences largely didn’t clap, but European ones did.
I enjoyed the film as a fascinating and at-times touching slice of life into a difficult historical period. It’s quite a charming film. I give it three riceballs, and a B ticket.