The Sea Is Watching
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Kei Kumai's Umi Wa Miteita (The Sea Watches) has a script written by the late Japanese master Akira Kurosawa. O-Shin (Nagiko Tohno) is a geisha. One day a samurai named Fusanosuke (Hidetaka Yoshioka) appears in her town on the run after having killed a man. She assists him by cutting his hair. The two fall in love, despite the protestations from O-Shin's friend Kikuno (Misa Shimizu). Eventually Fusanosuke leaves, only to return one day and reveal that he is engaged. The second half of the film involves O-Shin again falling in love with a samurai, this one named Ryosuke (Masatoshi… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It has been directed by Kei Kumai as a film that seems more melodramatic and sentimental than Kurosawa's norm."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"An undistinguished affair."
‑ Richard James Havis, Hollywood Reporter
"sad and compelling, yet laced with an underlying message of dignity and hope. Perhaps Kumai is no Kurosawa - but I don't know if Kurosawa could have done it much better."
‑ Brian Mckay, eFilmCritic.com
"You could literally hang any random frame on the wall and call it art."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"An absorbing slice of a lost world that's actually very reminiscent of Kurosawa's underappreciated 1957 film, The Lower Depths."
‑ William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Filled with love and melancholy, it's a fitting, fond epilogue to [Kurosawa]."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"It is a little like following a Jane Austen novel."
‑ C.W. Nevius, San Francisco Chronicle
"It's not only worth seeing as "Kurosawa's last story," but also simply as a good, solid drama."
‑ David Cornelius, eFilmCritic.com
"Those who delight in small-scale virtues may find their interest held by the meticulous detail that Kumai lavishes on various Japanese rituals -- everything from pouring tea to holding swords. Everyone else, however, need not check in."
‑ , E! Online
"Though formally beautiful, Sea Is Watching is remarkably trite in comparison to the great Japanese films on the subject."
‑ Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News
"I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb by saying the Sea that Kurosawa must have envisioned had to be a whole lot more compelling and focused than the one now delivered by veteran director Kei Kumai."
‑ Glenn Lovell, San Jose Mercury News
"[T]here were times when The Sea is Watching bored me. But Kumai and Kurosawa won me back with the final scenes, which are stark and beautiful, and a fitting finale for one of the world's great filmmakers."
‑ Erik Lundegaard, Seattle Times
"While this material isn't necessarily up to the standards of Kurosawa's best work, it does warrant at least a look."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"[A]delightful and surprisingly feminist film."
‑ Maria Garcia, Film Journal International
"Technically, it's an impossible film to fault--performances, cinematography and art direction are all first-rate, coalescing in a finale that is impressively deft. If only Kurosawa had lived long enough for a rewrite."
‑ Wade Major, Boxoffice Magazine
More reviews for The Sea Is Watching on Rotten Tomatoes