Sunday, 24 March 2024, 3:30 pm
Rainbow Cinemas Northumberland Mall

perfect days posterHirayama feels content with his life as a toilet cleaner in Tokyo. Outside of his structured routine, he cherishes music on cassette tapes, reads books and takes photos. Through unexpected encounters, he reflects on finding beauty in the world.

Cast: Kôji Yakusho, Tokio Emoto. Arisa Nakano
Wim Wenders
Writer: Takuma Takasaki, Wim Wenders
Genre: Drama
Language: Japanese
Rating: PG
Runtime: 2h 3m


By: Louisa Moore

There's a quiet elegance and graceful beauty in the repetition of "Perfect Days," a poetic, visually lyrical character study from director Wim Wenders. With a script co-written by Wenders and Takuma Takasaki, this nuanced film embraces the sadness of one man's isolation, radiating charm through a gorgeously understated lead performance from Koji Yakusho.

perfect daysHirayama (Yakusho) is content with his simple life. He lives alone in a small apartment among shelves of books, vintage cassette tapes, and his beloved plants. Every morning he wakes up early to start his job as a janitor, cleaning the public toilets of Tokyo. His everyday routine is very structured, but Hirayama has a passion for finding beauty in the everyday world that exists just outside his door.

Wenders takes his time telling the story, and it can feel frustrating to know so little about Hirayama for the film's first hour. The camera follows along as he completes his daily routine, from watering his plants, buying a coffee from a vending machine, driving to work, cleaning toilets, eating, visiting a bath house, and doing laundry. It's not exciting, but this repetition doesn't feel as boring and monotonous as it sounds (plus, it offers an in-depth tour of the bathrooms of Tokyo,Perfect Days some of which are works of art in their own right). As the character encounters and interacts with coworkers, strangers, casual acquaintances, and relatives, more of his past is revealed. This is a very slow moving film that requires a sizable amount of patience from viewers.

The film offers a look at the world's largest and most populous city with an angle that you rarely see in movies, and focusing the story on a solitary man gives it an even deeper, more meaningful twist. The end result is a moving reflection on life, love, regret, and hope, all held together by a restrained, heartfelt performance from Yakusho. He brings a poise to Hirayama that's likeable and relatable, making this intimate character study feel all the more poignant.

"Perfect Days" excels in its thoughtful, pensive simplicity, which is nothing short of mesmerizing. This is just a beautiful film all around.