“I Was a Simple Man” Sundance 2021 Review

Maybe we don’t deserve to go so easily

This film is so beautifully acted.

I honestly was bored at first and couldn’t see where this was going. Then we see Masao start to get sick. And as time goes, not only does Masao come to terms with his eventual death, but the viewer does as well.

Personally, I’ve never died. But damn if the process doesn’t scare the fuck out of me. It looks like it hurts. It hurts to watch Masao as he knows what’s coming and rejects most assistance, refusing to explain what’s going on to the doctors. Even though he knows what’s coming, he still puts himself through it.

The jumps in time, fleeting memories really, are so beautiful. They tell of the time of Hawaii becoming a state, Masao running away in his youth, all things that would fundamentally change him as a person. Before.. he was so simple. But when he ran away, his parents and siblings would die. And he would become angry. Then his love would die, and he would become a sad shell of the simple man he used to be.

This is a bit of a slow burn, but if that’s your thing (I know it is for me) it’s definitely worth your time. Seek this out, I can’t recommend it enough.

My Rating: 3.5/5

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