At the End of the Matinee
Machine no Owari ni
Set in Tokyo, Paris, and New York, the six years in the lives of a musician and a journalist brought together by fate who fall in love and struggle with their feelings―
At the End of the Matinee is a tour de force by novelist Keiichiro Hirano, the youngest recipient of the Akutagawa Prize. After its publication in 2016, it won the support of readers of all age groups and sold over 300,000 copies, an unprecedented feat in the genre of “pure” literature. While it is a love story, it addresses themes such as pain, suffering, social division and conflict, and it also realistically and sensitively illustrates the characters’ changing thoughts and emotions. And now this winter, this much-hyped love story between two grownups will be brought to the big screen.
The movie stars Masaharu Fukuyama, an artist-actor who constantly enjoys the spotlight in Japanese show business. He passionately plays Satoshi Makino, an anguished guitar prodigy who loses his music when his performances fail to satisfy him. In the role of Yoko Komine, a journalist who falls in love with Makino, is Yuriko Ishida, who appears in a wide variety of media including film, TV drama, and advertisement, an actress well-liked by both men and women, young and old. They poignantly portray the star-crossed lovers who spend six years trapped between passion and reality.
They are supported by a cast of other talented actors such as Yusuke Iseya, Yuki Sakurai, Haruka Kinami, Jun Fubuki, Yuka Itaya, and Ikko Furuya.
The film is directed by Hiroshi Nishitani, who receives kudos for his depictions of realistic characters and meticulously-plotted emotional catharses as seen in Suspect X (2008), Ninkyo Helper (2012), Midsummer’s Equation (2013), and Hirugao: Love Affairs in the Afternoon (2017).
The screenplay is by Yumiko Inoue who has written for numerous popular TV dramas. This is her first movie screenplay since Hirugao: Love Affairs in the Afternoon.
What is love? What is life? They are questions that everybody asks but for which nobody has the answer. Brought to life now, an exquisite drama about a man and woman trapped between passion and reality set in the picturesque townscapes of Tokyo, Paris, and New York, embellished by the beautiful melody of the classical guitar.
After one of his performances, world-renowned classical guitarist Satoshi Makino meets Yoko Komine, a journalist who works for a news agency in Paris. They are both in their forties, going through a distinctly delicate period in their lives. From the moment they meet, they feel a connection and are strongly attracted to one another. Knowing that Yoko has a fiance, Makino cannot rein in his emotions and declares his love for her. But their lives go on in the real world, and an unexpected misunderstanding forever changes the course of their love.
What will become of Makino and Yoko, who are forced to go their separate ways with their love for each other locked deep in their hearts?