Sweet Bean (2015) movie review
02, December 2020

Staying home due to quarantine forced me to learn cooking. Before that, I mostly ate outside, so I had very little idea of how to cook a decent meal. As a result when everything started to close down due to covid-19, I had to go to my kitchen and had to struggle to prepare my meals. That's the moment I discovered that foods don't get made from ingredients only. You can't just toss oil in a pan and drop an egg in it and expect delicious egg-fry. No matter what recipe you follow, there's always a secret ingredient that isn't listed on it. What is that secret ingredient that makes a food tasty?

Love & Care.

Yes, love for the ingredients that came from nature and care for the preparation process is must for a delicious food. The ingredients themselves need to work together with the cook to make the output as expected.

Just like in society, we are the ingredients to happiness. Harmony & care is requirement to become happy. While money/wealth can be major requirement in life, small act of kindness and sense of gratitude in our daily life brings us moment of joy. These are the secret ingredients to be happy.

Sweet Bean (An) is a japanese movie that made me realize this secret to cook awesome food and find joy in everyday life at the same time. Japanese film maker has a great way to mix nature and human life together. They can show you how these both stream of life have so much similarity that they do fulfill each other's destiny. The portrayal of nature and everyday life really makes a soothing feeling in my heart, and I love japanese movies for that.

Movie director "Naomi Kawase" has showed how we can find those small joy in our daily life by taking care of small details and be grateful to small gift that we ignore otherwise.

At the start of the movie, we get introduced to sentaro, a dorayaki seller. Dorayaki is a japanese sandwich with sweat red bean paste (an) in it. Sentaro is a middle-aged gloomy person. He sells dorayaki all by himself and doesn't have much in his life. As portrayed, his dorayaki taste as generic as his daily life.

One day, an elderly women, tokue shows up in his shop and asks for a job in his shop. She claims that she is making sweet bean paste for last 50 years. At first, sentaro doesn't show any interest in employing her. But after tasting her self-made sweet bean paste, he gets amazed how delicious it tastes. He then permits her to prepare sweet bean paste for his shop. The next day, he helps tokue to make the paste and that's the moment he discovers the secret ingredient that makes tokue's sweet bean paste delicious.

The actors did great job in this movie. Kirin Kiki (tokue) is a famous actress and once again she made me realize why's that. Her expression throughout the movie really made me love her character.

Usually, slice-of-life genre movies tends to be slow. But content of this movie was so refreshing that I didn't feel the passing time at all. By the way, never watch this movie while you are hungry or don't have food around, as the movie revolves around making food, you'll get definitive craving for some dorayaki. :)

Everything in the world has a story to tell

Yes, Everything around you can tell you its story, if you are eager to listen. The bird that is sitting on your window, The food you are eating, The person that just got bumped into you in street, The employee you've yelled at today, everyone. Listen to their story, be grateful of the events that happens in our stories. Let's make sweet bean paste together.