The Woodsman and the Rain , 2013 is a Japanese film by the Director Shuichi Okita and starring Koji Yakusho, Shun Oguri and Kengo Kora.
The film focuses around the widower Katsuhiko, who lives a secluded lifestyle with his son, away from society. He is a lumberjack and devotes his days to carrying out his work. You are made aware of the fraught nature of the father son relationship with references made to the passing of his wife and the wrestling match between father and son early on in the film.
The widower unwittingly becomes involved with a group of film makers making a Zombie flick but the central theme to Woodsman is the reawakening of Katsuhiko following his self imposed seclusion after the death of his wife. The pace of the film is gentle and slow with a lack of action. This serves to place the emphisis solely on the lead characters, we are undistracted and can therefore gain a true insight into their character and its development. I recognise that this slow pace may turn some people of, but I find it refreshing and feel that it lends itself to the story well.
The cinematics are beautiful , with long leisurely shots of Katsuhiko at work opening the film. It sets the pace that will continue throughout the movie.
I enjoyed the the development of Katsu and his relationship with both his son and the movie director Koichi. I found it a sensitive and gentle portrayal of human relationships, grief and ultimately self fulfilment. It is very subtle and for those who like it to be more in your face then this is not a film to watch, it is not a fast paced race to the finish line, rather a leisurely Sunday afternoon stroll.