Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Teahouse of the August Moon

In a small village in Okinawa, as part of the U.S. military's postwar reconstruction of Japan, a by-the-book army captain (Glen Ford) is charged to build a school for the locals. Aided by a translator (Marlon Brando), the people prove wiser than the American officials give them credit for and trick the officer into building what they really want: a fully functioning teahouse. It is a little jarring at first (and shocking I might add) seeing Brando playing a Japanese translator in what could be described as a stereotypical portrayal. He quickly proves quite comically adept and delivers what is ultimately a very humanistic performance in Daniel Mann's very funny filmization of John Patrick's play film. Glen Ford is also in fine form also as the perpetual lughead and Paul Ford is also quite good playing his commanding officer.