I did not expect to enjoy that as much as I did. I expected to enjoy it, but I didn't expect to find myself transfixed like I was.
I'm still trying to put my finger on why. I think it's something about those shots when the sushi hits the black lacquered wood. Not the porn -- though that's seventeen kinds of awesome -- but the whole notion that this is the product of a lifetime of dedication and work and experience and sacrifice, deftly shaped and then bam, set down for a fleeting moment of bliss. It's the gravity of a lifetime of passion distilled down into one bite at a time. And of course, the other themes are fascinating, but I think it's the poetry of that act, combined with some seriously slick filmmaking to enhance the gravity of the moment, that got me.
It's interesting to hear that the Tiger Dad theme, so to speak, was a significant one to you, sinosoul. It's not one that I would have taken note of, I think, if you hadn't mentioned it. If anything, it's an example of how a good film can hit different people in different ways depending on what they bring to it.
My first thought when the credits started to roll was that I never want to eat mediocre sushi again. Not because I'll lament that it isn't what it could be. Not because I don't want to hasten the disappearance of a dwindling resource (though that segment of the film is positively terrifying). But because it makes me feel like I don't want to waste my time with food that isn't the product of passion for the craft. And I always feel that to varying degrees. We all (all of us here) do. Though we converse in its symptoms -- the flavors, the colors, the textures, the smells -- it's that passion that we seek, the sense that the food is a vehicle, a means of expression, for something bigger. But I've never felt that as acutely, I think, as I did walking out of this film.
See this on the big screen, folks. It's at Harkins Shea 14 this weekend and into next week.