Thursday, April 19, 2012
Review of JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI (2012)
- Rated PG for mild thematic elements and brief smoking
- Directed by David Gelb
- Running Time: 1hr 22min
This is a documentary about an 85 year old man and his quaint little sushi restaurant. I have never tried sushi and probably never will. I hate fish. I hate the way it looks and the smell makes me gag. So I definitely was NOT the audience for this.
It's a pretty straightforward movie as it tells how Jiro Ono became an expert on Sushi, and how his sons followed in the business. This one caught me off guard. I was surprised how involved I became in Jiro's world. He's a no-nonsense, straight-to-the-point man with an adorable, but stern demeanor. He's a perfectionist, and is really hard on anyone who works for him, but I got the sense that it was all worthwhile for everyone. Apparently, this is the best sushi in the world. I liked how we really got to see the pressures of his oldest son and how he is preparing to take over the family business, though I felt a bit of reluctance since his father will be taking the credit for the sushi long after he passes on (which doesn't seem to be anytime soon). I also got a kick out of comments made from customers, as many said that they loved the food, but that Jiro is such an intimidating presence that they were uncomfortable. But all said it was still worth it. Jiro sure came across as a unique character. The film is also beautifully and articulately shot. The sushi looks wonderful and it almost made me want to try it.
I do think it got a tad long (even at 82 minutes), as I felt it didn't have enough material for a feature, but it would have made an excellent short. Overall, I still enjoyed it quite bit. I can imagine that if you are a sushi lover, then you'll be drooling over the delicious looking scenery, and maybe even convince you to make a trip to Japan just to try some of the food.
*** (out of ****)