Husband and Wife

(Fufu, a.k.a. A Couple). A sequel to the highly successful Repast, Husband and Wife again centers on the problems of young married life that, exacerbated by economic circumstances, can erupt into a full-scale breakup. Ken Uehara and Yoko Sugi star as the young couple forced to live in a rented room in the flat of an eccentric friend (Rentaro Mikuni) whose presence irritates their latent dissatisfactions with each other. Audie Bock writes, “Sugi had never played anything but a sweet young girl before, but she carries out the disillusioned wife role to perfection. The frankness and thoroughness with which Naruse delves into lower-middle-class psychology reveals sides of life such as the attempted forced abortion which would have been utterly taboo in films of the West at the time. The inconclusive ending of this film-will the couple survive happily or not?-will come to characterize the Naruse film and its resemblance to real life.”

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