“Perfect Days” – A Film Review
Welcome to our in-depth review of the film “Perfect Days,” directed by the renowned Wim Wenders. In this review, we will delve into the captivating world of the film, exploring its themes, characters, and the unique perspective it offers.
Join us as we embark on a serene journey through the streets of Tokyo and the life of an ordinary man who finds beauty and meaning in the simplicity of everyday moments.
Embracing Serenity in Tokyo
The peripatetic German-born director Wim Wenders has always found inspiration in unexpected places. With “Perfect Days,” he turns his lens towards Tokyo, capturing the orderly yet culturally rich life of an older resident named Hirayama.
Played by the venerable Japanese actor Koji Yakusho, Hirayama works in sanitation, cleaning high-end public toilets in the fashionable Shibuya district.
The Charisma of Simplicity
Hirayama’s life may seem ordinary, but there is an undeniable charisma hidden beneath his meek exterior. Each day, he begins by driving his van into town, accompanied by his curated cassette collection playing on the car stereo. The music, including tracks by The Animals, The Velvet Underground, and The Kinks, sets the tone for Hirayama’s contemplative journey.
Finding Beauty in the Ordinary
As we follow Hirayama through his daily routine, we discover the beauty that lies within the ordinary. The parks where the designer toilets are situated, a dark little bar-restaurant, and the quiet female proprietor who becomes a source of connection and affinity—all contribute to the richness of Hirayama’s world. Wenders masterfully captures these moments, infusing them with a sense of tranquility and wonder.
Dreams in Black and White
In “Perfect Days,” Wenders collaborates with his wife Donata, a photographer, to create imaginative black-and-white dream sequences. These sequences offer a glimpse into Hirayama’s inner world, highlighting the contrast between his solitary existence and the vividness of his dreams. Through these sequences, we gain deeper insight into Hirayama’s desires, fears, and the mysteries that surround his character.
Acceptance and Wish Fulfillment
Hirayama’s life represents a desire for both solitude and acceptance. As he listens to his cassette tapes and observes the world around him, we witness a form of wish fulfillment that resonates with many. There is a certain allure to the idea of a meaningful solitude, especially as one grows older and seeks a respite from the demands of the world. Hirayama’s choice to listen to music on cassette reflects a deliberate intention to embrace simplicity and appreciate the beauty in the small details of life.
A Delicate Balance
While “Perfect Days” may appear to be a film that embraces serenity and tranquility, it also explores the complexities of human relationships and the struggles that come with them. Hirayama’s patience and tolerance towards his chowderhead colleague, Takashi, border on self-abnegation. The arrival of his teenage niece, Niko, also introduces familial unease and raises questions about Hirayama’s past and the choices he has made.
The Wisdom and Poetry of “Perfect Days”
Wim Wenders has crafted a film that possesses the wisdom and poetic perceptions of an artist nearing the end of his life and career. “Perfect Days” invites us to contemplate the beauty in simplicity, the power of acceptance, and the mysteries that lie beneath the surface of everyday life. It is a film that resonates with its audience, evoking emotions and reflections long after the credits roll.
1. Is “Perfect Days” a fast-paced film?
No, “Perfect Days” is a film that embraces a slower pace, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in the serene and contemplative world of the protagonist. It is a film that encourages reflection and appreciation for the beauty of everyday moments.
2. Can I relate to the character of Hirayama?
Absolutely! Despite the cultural and geographical differences, Hirayama’s desire for solitude and his search for meaning are universal themes that many can relate to. His journey resonates with audiences, regardless of their background or experiences.
3. Does “Perfect Days” have a strong emotional impact?
While “Perfect Days” may not rely on intense emotions or dramatic plot twists, it has a quiet and understated emotional impact. The film gently pulls at the heartstrings, evoking a sense of nostalgia, introspection, and a profound appreciation for the beauty of life’s simple moments.