Having now seen my third Mikio Naruse film, I beginning to think that, although his subjects and themes are limited, he may be a better director than those of his generation, Ozu and Mizoguchi—not that ranking such three great filmmakers much matters. All three deal with trapped, yet forceful women, although Ozu’s heroines more often find solace in the family. But there is a kind feminist strength in Naruse’s characters that makes them far more complex and interesting, leaving us, at film’s end, to want to still know them better.
Here the air is almost white with a thick fog, intimating that she will be unable to see her way clear. Once more she tells Koji that his love cannot be returned, offering him, like a child, a ring made of string.