Started in 2007 to keep a track of gay films that I watched, this blog has come much further than I had planned. There are tons of movies that I need to watch and review here. Through this blog, I want to give you genuine, my personal heart-felt review of the films that I see. These are my personal thoughts and opinions about the films and I would love to hear your thoughts on these films as well. I always reply to comments in a day or two. Please help me make my blog more popular by becoming a member, following it and by recommending it to your friends. As far as I know this is one of the very very few gay movie review blogs where reviews are not linked or copy-paste imdb summary. Enjoy and do keep writing your feedback.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Otôto no otto (Japanese Mini Series) [My Brother's Husband]

Now this is one mini series that everyone should watch irrespective of their sexuality. Through very simple examples and situations, this series very smartly focuses on themes of homophobia, cultural difference, and family. IT shows eventually how people grow up and evolve. This 3 part mini series  of about 50 minute each, in my opinion is something so good and refreshing that I have seen in many years without being overboard keeping everything simple.

Yaichi, a stay-at-home single father, lives with his daughter Kana in suburban Tokyo. They are visited by Mike Flanagan, the widower of Yaichi's estranged twin brother Ryōji, who has traveled from his native Canada for three weeks to learn about Ryōji's past. Kana is fascinated by Mike and is immediately accepting of him, though Yaichi is hesitant to accept Mike as family and worries will Mike hit on him given he looks exactly like his brother. While Yaichi is not overtly homophobic, Mike suggests that his tacit discomfort over his brother's sexuality drove a wedge between them that led to their estrangement. Mike, though, is an unexpectedly easy house guest, even in his grief – and Kana regards both her new uncle and gay marriage as marvelous novelties, things about which she can boast to her friends on the way to school. It isn’t long, then, before the distance between the two men begins to close. Eventually, as Yaichi's estranged wife tell him, Mike will always be family. Yaichi eventually takes Mike to introduce to his parents. to their grave and finally giving into grief apologizing to Ryoji and his parents for not being there for his brother. He will make sure that things change and Mike stays family forever.

You cannot help but get moved, not just by the story but also the brilliant execution of the script. It is very heartwarming and touching and something almost anyone can identify with. I guess gay life remains largely closeted in Japan and this story seeks to examine the effect such secrecy has not only those who must live it, but also on their wider family relationships. While Yaichi is the shy, quiet types; Mike is happy, open, frank and someone who believe in giving hugs. No wonder Yaichi's daughter Kana takes an instant liking to him. Yaichi's individual growth in the 3 weeks is something that more and more people need to see and learn from. Thanks to Mike's interactions with the family and neighborhood, Yaichi gets to confront his own prejudices around sex and sexuality, and his growing tolerance and eventual acceptance of Mike while confronting his own homophobia. The series takes so many examples to show the growth signs like Kana's friends mother not allowing her to visit and meet Mike' a teenager struggling with his sexuality completely breaks down after meeting Mike forcing Mike to understand what his brother probably must have gone through in his struggling teenage years. We also meet a school friend of Ryoji, who though gay is still very much in closet. Yaichi's acting was spot on. The guilt, the surprise, the happiness to see his daughter happy, cordial relations with his ex-wife and his willingness to learn and grow is just marvelous. Mike's character is shown to be out there. Sensitive yet honest. His interactions with Kana are some of the best.

This series absolutely deserves to be remade in multiple languages. I don't think this has received any press or popularity anywhere; which isa huge shame because this soooo deserves to be seen by all. As Yaichi's wife says, you will not grow up, but you will evolve after watching this. I highly highly recommend it. (9/10)

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