#TIFF23: “PERFECT DAYS” REVIEW
By Mr. Will Wong
Wim Wenders is back with a gorgeous portrait of every day life, that leaves its audience with a renewed sense of appreciation of life and living.
The Film centers around Japanese screen legend Kôji Yakusho who plays Hirayama, a middle-aged man working as a toilet cleaner in Tokyo, residing within a throw’s reach of the Tokyo Tower. He lives a quiet, mundane life, obsessed with caring for his plants, clocked down to a routine. A series of unexpected encounters with others around him peel off layers and from there we get glimpses into his past. Through his interactions with others around, we learn more and more about the perpetually cool, calm and collected Hirayama.
Wenders pairs an eclectic and nostalgic Soundtrack highlighted by Otis Redding, Nina Simone, Patti Smith, The Rolling Stones and more and this works remarkably well with the story. Though we spend an inordinate amount of time with Hirayama scrubbing toilets and cleaning bathrooms, never for once do we lose sight of his quiet zest for life and his endless willingness to help others around him. It isn’t till late that you realize that you have built a deep emotional connection with him. Yakusho is charming, captivating and spellbinding, a phenomenal performance.
PERFECT DAYS screens at TIFF ’23:
Thursday, September 7
TIFF Bell Lightbox
Friday, September 8
Scotiabank Theatre Toronto