- Ryuchi and his wife are stuck in a loveless relationship with lots of bills to pay.
- Because his youngest teenage son still wants to sleep with his mother, Ryuchi’s wife has kicked him out of her bed.
- The combination of Ryuchi’s odd working hours, frequent bouts of depression (he often thinks about commiting suicide), and poor communication skills has made him a less than ideal husband or father.
- Because Japanese culture frowns upon drawing attention to one’s personal or professional problems, Ryuchi feels as if he is stuck living a lie. To his clients, he’s the perfect husband, father, or boss who can help them solve their problems. To his sons, he’s an emotionally distant doofus.
Ryuchi at home with his wife and two sons
Schröder’s documentary about one of Japan’s growing “service industries” benefits immensely from Jonas Coltrup’s magnificent musical score, which is dominated by the sound of a mournful cello. While, to his clients, Ryuchi may be a hero for hire, the depression that awaits him when he returns to his family proves, once again, that “there’s no place like home.” Here’s the trailer:
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