|Kiiroi zô 2013 Japan Yellow Elephant|
Yellow Elephant (Kiiroi zô)  • Japan concerns a newlywed couple living in rural Japan. They both have little backstories to help explain the unspoken distance in their relationship (and to create a little (melo)drama as the story reaches its climax). Hiroki also includes three other couples as illuminating difference. One of the women in those other couples is an old flame of the male protagonist and the flame hasn't gone completely out. Cue tension. It's a pretty stock script but Hiroki peppers it with his own peculiarities and photographs it beautifully. There's an animated Yellow Elephant that serves as the giant metaphor in the room. It's a peaceful little film and its big meaning moments near the end come off more like a naive child's poetry than the ambitious denouement it's played to be.
Aoi Miyazaki, however. She wears no makeup; her bangs are cut amusingly short, making her look like her elevator doesn't go all the way to the top; she talks to plants and animals (and they talk back); she hints at her coy million dollar smile a couple times, at most; the film would be mediocre without her.
Miyazaki brings her Blue Automobile/Harmful Insect A-game to the proceedings. Yellow Elephant is nothing like those films but Miyazaki captivates. Fans of her work don't want to miss this one. I wish I could include screen caps here to show how intensely beautiful she is, as a thespian. And but, some of the credit should go to Hiroki. After seeing a dozen of his films another conclusion I've come to: he knows how to photograph women, but he can't create their depth. They have to bring it.
Summary: Married couple Aiko Tsumari (Aoi Miyazaki) and Ayumu Muko (Osamu Mukai) live a happy and peaceful life. Aiko is bit naive, while Ayumu works as a not so popular novelist.
One day, a letter arrives for Ayumu. Because of this letter, the couple become estranged ...
Based on the novel "Kiroi Jou" by Kanako Nishi (published February 28, 2006 by Shogakukan).