April 17, 2013

Must Watch Before You Die #34: Late Spring (1949)

It has been close to four months since I made a recommendation in this column. During this period, I have watched close to 50 good films, some even great, but I was waiting for one that would qualify as a 'must watch' beyond any doubt. And finally, I found this - one of the most beautiful films you're going to watch - Yasujiro Ozu's 'Late Spring'.

I haven't had the fortune of observing a father-daughter relationship from a close distance. Have only heard of it, and have vaguely felt it in the bond that my Mom shared with her Dad, my Nanaji. There have been a few female friends, who are close to me, and who talk fondly about their fathers. Some of them evoke such tenderness within me that I start longing for a daughter! People who know me would understand what a big 'shift' it is from my priorities and preferences, if I start talking about having a child, and a family. But this is what happens to me, when such conversations come up, of the magically beautiful relationship some daughters have with their fathers.

Early April in India, is very much 'late spring'. It wasn't planned, but it just happened that I watched this Ozu masterpiece during that time. After last year's 'Sight and Sound' poll of the greatest films, 'Late Spring' has suddenly climbed up the rankings and I had great expectations from it. When it ended, I had tears in my eyes, and a blissful smile on my face. There is something about this relationship that I think I already know - how the father would feel once he sends away his darling daughter off to a new family! What a terribly and helplessly mixed feeling it would be! You see it in the eyes of Anupam Kher during closing portions of the 'Samdhi Samdhan' song in 'Hum Aapke Hain Koun!'. You see it in the eyes of Ashok Kumar at the climax of 'Aashirwaad'. Now see it in the eyes of Chishu Ryu, and love this beautiful movie forever!


  1. Lets do an ebook or even a book when we have 100 movies on the list.. will circulate it internationally..

    1. Going by my current rate, it will take me 5 more years to reach the figure of 100.
      Not that I mind it, just letting you know, so that you do not expect too much too soon! :p