Ordinary people’s extraordinary lives (映画『普通の人々』を見た感想)



Yesterday I saw the film “Ordinary People”. It was the third time for me. Since the second time was about 20 years ago or more, I’ve forgotten the detail, but I remembered some impressive scenes.

When I saw this film for the first time, I was a student. I’m not sure I knew what the life was, but I was very moved by this film. At that time I’d heard of this movie the word “Ordinary people’s extraordinary lives” or something like that.

Since then this word became important for me. Why I’d once stayed in the radioactively contaminated area? It’s because there lived the ordinary people who had suffered from the extraordinary experience.

“Ordinary people” describes the process of the collapse of a family. This reminds me of the same theme film “Tokyo story” of Ozu. The collapse itself means negative, but it contains renaissance. In the last of “Ordinary people”, the mother got out of their home, but the father and the son started a new relationship.

The character of the mother is interesting. A Japanese Professor Ochi indicates in his book “What is WASP?”(written in Japanese) that the mother was the typical “matriarchal mother” of WASP(White Anglo-Saxon Protestant). She is a dominating, self-controlled mother, and her attitude to her son is very severe, even maniacally.

When I was a student, my mother was similar to her, so I felt sympathy for Conrad the son of the “Ordinary people”. Then, she got old and had changed. Years sometimes resolve problems.

To tell the truth, the reason why I saw this movie now is that a friend of mine committed suicide. When I heard his death, I couldn’t control myself like Conrad. What if I could do something or should have done.

I decided to start something which I’d like to do without hesitation. This entry in English is my first attempt.

A few days ago I came across this quotation by Mark Twain.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

I’m a middle-aged man, and may be getting more stubborn, but that kind of words encourage me. It’s never too late to start something new.