Home > Film, Reviews > DVD/Blu-ray Review: The Woodsman And The Rain – A Film By Shuichi Okita

DVD/Blu-ray Review: The Woodsman And The Rain – A Film By Shuichi Okita

A gentle story of a local woodsman who forms a friendship with a young director of a zombie film!

The Woodsman and the RainIn The Woodsman and the Rain (Kitsutsuki to Ame), 60 year-old lumberjack Katsu (Koji Yakusho) is about to undergo a life changing experience, but is at first reluctant to have his run of the mill life interrupted by a film crew that arrives in his hometown to shoot a zombie movie.

Director Shuichi Okita (The Chef of South Polar, City Boys’ Film Noir) shows the normal everyday life of a woodcutter, Katsu and how it changes when he is asked to help out the young withdrawn director, Koichi (Shun Oguri) by assisting with location scouting since he is a local and knows the area so well. Katsu’s lack of interest in the whole situation soon turns to intrigue as he finds himself playing the role of one of the living-dead along with many of the other locals who embrace the whole experience.

The Woodsman and the Rain

(Courtesy of Third Window Films)

Rather than being a film about the actual process of filmmaking, The Woodsman and the Rain focuses  on the relationship between the two main characters and their gaining mutual respect for each other even with their indifferences. It shows how two totally contrasting people of different ages and backgrounds come together and inspire each other. On the one hand, Katsu is much more outgoing, yet less willing to help others unless it’s really necessary, whilst Koichi is introverted and needs Katsu’s help with almost every aspect of human relations. As a result, Katsu gets the young director to open up more, and Koichi, unintentionally, opens Katsu’s mind to things other than woodcutting such as being a better father to his son.

The Woodsman and the Rain

(Courtesy of Third Window Films)

The pacing of this lighthearted comedy drama is steady from the get go, absent of any fast-paced action sequences, which is to be expected from such a gentle story. The striking scenery is there to take in, rather than overlook; the very act of seeing Katsu cut down the trees is a serene moment in time, and the interruption of it by the producer of the zombie film is a disturbance to his equilibrium, at least to begin with until he develops a bond with Koichi and becomes more and more drawn to the ins and outs of filmmaking, which ultimately makes him look at his own life.

Awards: Tokyo International Film Festival – Special Jury Prize, Nippon Connection – Nippon Cinema Award

Festivals: Terracotta Far East Film Festival, Udine Far East Film Festival, Shanghai International Film Festival, Japan Cuts

The Woodsman and the Rain

(Courtesy of Third Window Films)


Label: Third Window Films 

Release date:  28th January 2013

Certificate:  12

Running time:  129 min

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Director: Shuichi Okita

Stars: Koji Yakusho, Shun Oguri, Kengo Kora, Kanji Furutachi, Asami Usuda

Author Profile:

Sandie has a keen interest in Anime, Manga and all things Japanese. Her interests other than reviewing are Japanese Language, dress and culture, liking Harajuku Girls, Gothic Lolita, folding some neat Origami, drawing her own Manga characters, writing her own Manga stories and everything in between.

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