Mitsuko and Emi are two sisters living in a standard
two-storey housein a standard, suburb of Tokyo.
The drab backwater typifies the lack of vitality that marks
Japan's current economic downturn.
The elder sister, Emi works in administration
in a small company.
Mitsuko is taking a course in photography
whilehostessing in a bar by night.
While their daily lives seem outwardly normal,
their family life is not.
Their father abandoned early on
and the shock of the separation
lead their mother to commit suicide.
Mitsuko was especially traumatized by this
and has yetto forgive her father.
Recently their father has fallen on hard times
and must sell the house,
forcing the girls to move out.
As our story begins, Mitsuko struggles
with resentment towards
her sister for her affair with
a married colleague, Matsubara.
The younger sister cannot help
but equate Matsubara with
her despised father and Emi
with the "other woman".
Matsubara also has a young daughter with whom
Mitsuko feels a painful sense of identity.
Into this fragility steps a strange, young man claiming
to have fallen in love with Mitsuko.
Emi is strangely accepting of
this pathological liar and soon,
both he and his bizarre sister are able to
insinuatehimself into their lives.
The appearance of this odd duo is
the catalyst for a number of
challenging events that disturb
the calm of the sisters' lives.
Firstly, Mitsuko is shocked to learn from
a customer in the bar that
her sometime photojournalist boyfriend
has been killed overseas.
Next, Emi is visited by Matsubara's wife
seemingly for a civilized chat,
only to have the woman slash
her wrists in the kitchen.
Everyone maintains a belief in
their potential for happiness.
But despite a desire for normality,
what often ensues is a wild gyration
This swing between stability and
change both in our own
lives and in those around us, defines our lives.
To an observer it may be comic,
to the participant, tragic...
the eternal interplay of this relativity is
at the heart of this Chekhovian tale.