Why Sakura Ando, the “Possessive Monster,” is in danger of retiring from acting in the movie “A Certain Man
Based on the best-selling novel by Keiichiro Hirano, “A Certain Man” is a film directed by the brilliant Kei Ishikawa, who is highly acclaimed both in Japan and abroad.
The film is currently in theaters. The Venice International Film Festival and the rest of the world are taking notice, and actress Sakura Ando’s “retirement crisis” has come to light, causing some to express surprise.
In this film, Rie Taniguchi (Ando) returns to her hometown with her child after her divorce, and eventually meets Daisuke (Kubota Masataka) and remarries. One day, Daisuke dies in an accident.
In the midst of their grief, Daisuke’s long estranged brother (Hidekazu Majima) visits the memorial service and reveals a shocking truth. Who is the husband she was supposed to have loved? Rie and her lawyer, Akira Kido (Satoshi Tsumabuki), are trying to find out the truth about a man who lived as Daisuke.
First cut at the beginning of the film. The first cut at the beginning of the film, the impressive scene of Rie holding a pen in her hand and shedding tears at her parents’ stationery store, caught the attention of many viewers.
Ando had been living a life focused on raising her children and refraining from work after the “Shoplifters” movie, so it took a lot of courage for her to appear in a movie after such a long time. Even so, she decided to appear in the film, thinking, “I don’t want Satoe to be a poor woman,” and “I wonder if I can change things by playing the role.
Then came the first day of shooting. On the first day of filming, a scene in which she holds a pen in her hand and cries caused a mishap. The director gave her a series of bad advice: ‘It’s OK, but something might be wrong, so I want to do it again,’ ‘It’s not real,’ and so on.
Speaking of Ando, she is a talented actress who won her second Japan Academy Award for Best Leading Actress for the movie “Shoplifters’ Family” released in 2006, following “Hyakuen no Koi” released in 2002. She is also known as one of the rare actresses who can possess the characters in a story and live the role.
For example, in the film “Kenta, Jun and Kayo’s Country” (2010), she plays Kayo, who is “ugly, waxy and stupid,” and in “Kazoku no Kuni” (2012), she plays Rie, a Korean sister who lives in Japan with her brother who moved to North Korea. In “Kazoku no Kuni” (2012), in which she starred, she played the “ugly, waxy, and stupid” Kayo; in “Kazoku no Kuni” (2012), she played the zainichi Korean sister Rie, who has a brother in North Korea; and in the film “Ieji” (2002), her mother Misa returns as a delivery girl after the earthquake, and her performance was as natural as if she were her own character.
In the movie “We Have No Tomorrow” (2008), which she herself describes as her debut, she plays Chizu, a high school girl who is so sexually ignorant that she takes rather bold actions. In the film “Ai no mukidashi” (“Love Exposure”) (2009), Koike is abused and distorted in the process of growing up, and ends up becoming a recruiter for a cult. It is astonishing that she is able to play two completely different types of roles at the same time, while moving back and forth between the two scenes,” said a producer from a production company.
In her greeting on the opening day of this film, she said
I don’t think I’m suited for this job. It’s been a while since I’ve been on set, but I think I’m going to end it now.
Satoshi Tsumabuki, who played the lead role in the film, confided in her. Tatsuto Kondo, who served as cinematographer for the film, said, “Satoe suddenly bursts into tears.
Satoe suddenly bursts into tears. I wondered what I could do to draw the audience in. After the shooting of this scene was completed, the director felt something subtle and uncomfortable, and reshot the scene. That may have caused Mr. Ando some anxiety.”
he recalls, looking back on that time. What exactly happened to Ando, who was said to be a genius, in this film, his first full-fledged movie in four years?
Kei Ishikawa, the director of the film, had something on his mind when shooting the scene in which Satoe’s tears become unstoppable. That was the “crying performance” that Ando had given in the interrogation scene in the movie “Shoplifters,” which was highly praised by Cate Blanchett, the president of the jury at the Cannes International Film Festival.
The director was concerned that Ando’s performance might be influenced by that image, so he repeated the scene one more time and one more time until he was satisfied. As a result, the first cut of the film is a wonderful performance that is different from the “crying performance” in “Shoplifters”.
Ando says he was depressed when he was told that the first cut was “not real” on the first day of shooting. However, looking back on that time, he now makes the following comment.
I had been living my life sensuously, but this past year I challenged myself to try once more to live by fitting myself into logical thinking, and as a result I lost my balance. It was during this time of change for me that I met Satoe.
I lived in this work in a different way from my usual approach. The situation where my mind and body were not in sync with each other may have overlapped with the situation with Satoe in terms of consequence. Maybe that was Director Ishikawa’s goal. Director Ishikawa beat me! I think.”
He said, “I’m feeling like I’ve been defeated by Director Ishikawa!
Sakura Ando is feared as a “possession monster. This film may have opened the door to her second chapter as an actress.
Text： Ukon Shima (Broadcaster, Video Producer)
He is involved in program production in a wide range of genres, including variety, news, and sports programs. He has also planned and published many books on female TV announcers, idols, and the TV industry. While working on documentary programs, he became interested in history and recently published "Ieyasu was dead in Sekigahara" (Takeshobo Shinsho). She is also publishing the e-book series "Ibun Chakurezuregusa" (Different Stories about Craftsmen).