夫を亡くした女性が立ち直る姿を描く人間ドラマ

[From November Issue 2010]

Maboroshi no Hikari [Phantasmic Light] (Directed by KORE-EDA Hirokazu)

[幻の光] 販売元:バンダイビジュアル
© TV MAN UNION,Inc.

This motion picture was adapted from the novel of the same title, written by MIYAMOTO Teru, about a wife who overcomes her husband’s devastating death. It is the first feature-length film for the director, KORE-EDA Hirokazu, and was released in 1995. It is also the film in which fashion magazine model, ESUMI Makiko, launched her acting career. The film has received various national and international awards, including the Golden Osella award at the Venice Film Festival.

The protagonist Yumiko (played by Esumi), grew up regretting her feelings of helplessness that started when she was 12 years old and her grandmother went missing. Yumiko eventually married Ikuo (played by ASANO Tadanobu) and gave birth to their son, Yuuichi, but remained traumatized by her childhood incident. One day, Ikuo unexpectedly commits suicide and Yumiko is left devastated, without the slightest clue as to why he did it.

Five years later, Yumiko gets remarried to Tamio (played by NAITO Takeshi), who was a widower and lives with his only daughter Tomoko and his elderly father (played by EMOTO Akira) in a small village on the Noto Peninsula along the coast of the Sea of Japan. Tolerating the harsh winter’s cold, this new family of five start their tranquil lives together as Yumiko gradually gets to know the locals. Then, six months later, she returns to her hometown to attend her younger brother’s wedding ceremony.

During her stay, Yumiko stops by the apartment that she once shared with Ikuo. As she strolls down memory lane, passing a familiar coffee shop and the factory where Ikuo worked, her feelings towards her lost husband begin to resurface as she dwells on the question of why he committed suicide. Yumiko eventually returns home unable to shrug off these depressing feelings.

Tamio sees how Yumiko feels. However, Yumiko leaves the house still emotionally confused. She wanders around, heading toward the seaside. Tamio comes to her side where Yumiko confesses that she “still does not know why Ikuo killed himself.” Tamio shares with her, “Fishermen are lured into the sea. They see a beautiful light on the horizon. Probably everyone has a moment like that.” When spring finally arrives, there is new laughter in Yumiko’s family, as the movie comes to an end.

The park at night, the rainy street, and the village in winter with low clouds all convey the darkness in Yumiko’s heart. There is not much dialogue, and there are hardly any close-ups of any of the characters. This is a quiet piece of work that illustrates the process a person goes through in reclaiming, over time, the desire to live, while also gradually overcoming the grief of losing someone close.

[2010年11月号掲載記事]

幻の光(是枝裕和 監督)

[幻の光] 販売元:バンダイビジュアル
© TV MAN UNION,Inc.

夫の死を通して、妻が悲しみから立ち直るまでを描いた宮本輝の同名小説が原作。1995年、是枝裕和監督が劇場用長篇映画デビュー作として映画化。ファッション誌のモデルだった江角マキコが女優に初挑戦した作品。ヴェネチア国際映画祭など、国内外で数々の賞を受けた。

主人公のゆみ子(江角マキコ)は、12歳のとき、自分が引き止められずに祖母が行方不明になったことを悔やんだまま大人になった。郁夫(浅野忠信)と結婚し、勇一を産んでもそれはトラウマになっている。そんなある日、郁夫が何の前ぶれもなく自らの命を絶ってしまう。その理由が分からないまま、ゆみ子は途方に暮れる。

5年後、ゆみ子は、妻に先立たれた民雄(内藤剛志)と再婚する。民雄は日本海に面した能登半島の小さな村に、ひとり娘の友子と年老いた父親(柄本明)とともに住んでいる。厳しい寒さに耐えながら、5人はおだやかな生活を始め、ゆみ子も村の人たちとの付き合いに慣れていく。そして半年後、ゆみ子は弟の結婚式に出るため里帰りする。

そのついでに、ゆみ子はかつて郁夫と住んだアパートに立ち寄る。喫茶店や郁夫の働いていた工場など、思い出の場所を歩くうち、次第に亡き夫への想いがよみがえる。なぜ郁夫は自殺したのか - ゆみ子は再びそのことを考え始める。沈んだ気持ちを抱えたまま、ゆみ子は帰宅する。

民雄はそんなゆみ子の変化に気づく。だが、気持ちの整理がつかないゆみ子は家を出てしまう。呆然と歩き、海岸にたどり着く。そこへ、民雄が来る。「なぜ郁夫が自殺してしまったのか、いまだにわからない」と打ち明けるゆみ子に、民雄はこう答える。「漁師は海に誘われるそうだ。沖の方にきれいな光が見えるんだって。誰にもそんな瞬間があるんじゃないのか」と。やがて春が訪れると、ゆみ子たち家族に笑いが戻り、そこで映画は終わる。

夜の公園、雨に濡れる町、雲におおわれた真冬の村など、全体を通して、ゆみ子の心の闇を表すかのように、画面には光が差さない。台詞も多くはなく、登場人物たちの表情がアップになることも少ない。身近な人の死に直面しても、時の流れに身をまかせながら少しずつ生きる希望を取り戻していく過程が描かれた静かな作品である。

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