A husband and wife are sitting at a table but don’t talk to each other. They go to a restaurant but eat on different tables. The husband falls asleep alone in bed and the wife sobs while tidying up the kitchen. Director Kobayashi Masahiro’s camera keeps following the daily life of a married couple who treats each other like strangers. What could have happened to them? We find a clue in the middle of the movie. Ryoichi, the husband, meets a man who mentions about a kid died in an accident. He keeps saying sorry but Ryoichi leaves him warning not to contact him or his wife never again. In the next scene Yukiko, the wife, prepares a meal with love and care. Apart from the couple’s plates there’s one more plate and a glass of juice. In the picture on the table we can guess that the couple had a child. With an exception of the scene where Ryoichi meets the man, where subtitles appear, there’s no dialogue in Strangers When We Meet. The couple is living in a complete silence that makes us focus on their pain and wounded heart better. In the ending scene, the husband and wife meet at a restaurant after the dead child’s memorial day. Their bodies speak louder than words. Would it be a conciliatory gesture or a cinematic fantasy? Masahiro delivers the delicate emotions only with limited gestures like the wife’s lame leg and leaves the interpretation open to the audience.
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