Long buried secrets, simmering resentment and repressed guilt slowly emerge in the Cannes prize-winning Japanese drama Harmonium after newly released ex-con Yasaka (Tadnobu Asano, a familiar figure from the Thor movies) reappears in the life of his tight-lipped old friend Toshio (Kanji Furutachi) and becomes his employee and houseguest.
Like his reticent characters, writer-director Kôji Fukada reveals details of the men’s pasts slowly and sparingly, but he creates a sense of gathering unease as Yasaka gradually wins over Toshio’s anxious wife (Mariko Tsutsui) and bubbly young daughter (Momone Shinokawa). He makes us think, too, about remorse and forgiveness, atonement and retribution, and the conclusion he delivers is quietly devastating
Certificate 12. Runtime 120 mins. Director Fukada Kôji
Harmonium debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on 7 February. Available in Dual Format & Digital from Eureka Masters of Cinema.