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I WAS A SIMPLE MAN (2021, USA) Movie review, plot, trailer, rating

Masao is a resident of Hawaii of Japanese origin, an old man who learns that his end is near. Although the doctor tells him that it would be wise for him to give up cigarettes and drinks, this silent long-haired gray-haired old man with a mustache like Sam Elliott, immediately after leaving the office, lights a cigarette and goes for a beer. He seems to have come to terms with his fate and that death is something he has been waiting for a long time. But the problem is that these last days are not very pleasant for him and he needs someone to take care of him because it can no longer be a dream. But his younger son Mark is mentally ill, his daughter Kati quarreled with his father a long time ago, and his older son Henry is somewhere far away and has no strength for a disabled father.

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Eventually, Masa’s grandson Gavin will arrive in a rural traditional Hawaiian village, and as the old man draws to a close, it is as if ghosts from the past will become more and more his company. As time goes on, Masao and I, along with him, will go more and more into the past and we will learn his life story, and this naturalistic, somewhat meditative drama can be seen as a symbol for a vanishing world. Screenwriter Christoper Makoto Yogi in Old Masau seems to have personified old Hawaii, the wilderness, peace, quiet and serenity that are disappearing as his family members symbolize new, modern Hawaii becoming more and more like the rest of the urbanized, built and modern world.

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Along with the Masa, this somewhat mystical and exotic world of ancient Hawaii, in which all possible cultures mixed, seems to be disappearing. Beautiful nature, tropical forests and wilderness are increasingly being replaced by concrete, asphalt and skyscrapers, and just as Masao no longer has the strength and will to fight for his life, so symbolically as if old and traditional Hawaii signed an unconditional capitulation to modernity. The film is shot in a somewhat lyrical, elegiac style, a visually impressive and melancholy meditation in which the past and the present begin to merge, just as the boundaries between reality, dreams and memories disappear in an old and tormented man as his end draws. Rating 6.5 / 10.

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I Was A Simple Man – Movie Official US Trailer