Drive My Car (2021) - full transcript

Adapted from a short story in Murakami Haruki's "Men Without Women". A director's wife was a playwright, but she died two years ago. When he's invited to direct a play at a festival in Hiroshima, the director finds his chauffeur to be a stoic woman. The two share many rides, and as communication is initiated secrets and confessions are gradually exchanged.


From time to time,

she starts sneaking into Yamaga's house.


The name of her first love.
He's a high school classmate.

He's not aware of her love for him.

She doesn't want him to know,
so that's OK with her.

But she wants to know more about him.

She wants to know everything about him,

without letting him know about her.

So she sneaks in.


When he's attending classes,
she feigns illness and leaves early.

Yamaga's an only child,
and his dad's an office worker.

His mom's a school teacher.

So the girl knows
there's nobody at home during the day.

How does she sneak in?
She's just an ordinary teenager.

She takes a guess and searches
under a potted plant by the front door.

There's a key.

What a careless family.

She uses it to let herself into the house.

She goes upstairs and opens a door.

The number on the soccer uniform
on a hanger tells her it's his room.

The room is tidy for a 17-year-old boy,

and she senses that he has
controlling parents, his mom in particular.

She breathes in.

She listens carefully.

She hears silence.

An amplified silence, like the sound
through a hearing aid, fills the room.

She lies down on Yamaga's bed.

She holds back the urge to masturbate.

Why? The limits of a television drama?


She has her own set of rules.

Things she'll allow or won't allow herself to do.

She can sneak into his house,
but not masturbate there.


Then she leaves an unused tampon in his room.

A tampon?

- That's what you said.
- That's so weird.

More so than usual.
Can this be adapted for TV?

Don't worry. The producer said,
it's for an innovative late-night slot.

If you say so.

So she takes out an unused
tampon from her school bag

and puts it in a drawer in his desk.

What if his overprotective mom finds it?

She feels a rush of excitement at the thought.

She's kinky.

The tampon is a token,
indicating she was really there.

A token.

She continues sneaking in
from time to time after that.

She's aware of the risks.

She's the type, who is trusted
by her parents and teachers,

so a lot is at stake.

Nevertheless, she can't stop.

She can't stop.

She sniffs around in his room,
longing for his slightest scent.

She always takes a token
from his room when she leaves.

A pencil or something
that he won't notice is gone.

And in exchange,
she leaves a token of herself.

At her most daring moment,

she took off her underwear
and put it deep in his chest of drawers.

She feels that they are gradually mingling
by exchanging such tokens.

And that she is giving him the strength
to escape his mother's control.

That's it for today.

I see.

Want to know the rest?

Yeah, I do.

Shall I wait, or shall I write it? Which?

You can still wait.

Yeah. I want to know the rest, too.

You really don't know?

I never do, do I?

Well, I thought maybe this time
it was about your first love.

Of course it's not!


- Hello.
- Hello.

When does the curtain go up?

6:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:00.

I'll be cutting it close.

Don't bother coming.
You shouldn't slip out of a meeting.

I'll bother. I want to see your play.

- Break a leg.
- Thanks.

Not worth a curse.

(You say we have to come back tomorrow?)


(Then we can bring a good bit of rope.)




(I can't go on like this.)

That's what you think.

(If we parted?
That might be better for us.)

We'll hang ourselves tomorrow.

Unless Godot comes.

(And if he comes?)

We'll be saved.

(Well? Shall we go?)

Pull on your trousers.


Pull on your trousers.


May I come in?

Come in.


It was great.

Yeah? I'm glad.

May I introduce someone now?

Yeah, after I change...


Hello, I'm Takatsuki.

Your wife kindly invited me.

Don't say "wife."

I see you a lot on TV.

Thank you.

He's in my new one, too. A good role.

He always has a good role.

Better than ever.
He's the heroine's love interest.


When I mentioned your play
during the production meeting,

and he said he wanted to come.

I'd heard about your methods and was interested.

They're so different. Multilingual.

I'm not sure if this is
the right sentiment, but it was moving.

Really? You're a strange young man.

Oto, please.

It's true.

Yes, thank you.

Don't thank me.

I need to change, so maybe later.

Excuse me.

Good work.

Sorry, did I wake you?

You must be tired.

My flight's Narita at 9:00, gotta run.

See you.

See you.

You didn't have to come.

Here. Uncle Vanya.

I recorded it.
About time you need it, right?


You'll miss your flight.

See you. Take care.

See you.

Here, have some tea.

I don't feel like drinking tea.

How about vodka, then?

Nobody knows how I feel.

I can't sleep at night
from frustration and anger.

I've wasted my time.

I could have attained so much from life,

but it's too late now at this age.

Uncle Vanya, that's so boring.

You speak as if your former convictions
were somehow to blame.

But your convictions were not at fault.

You were the one at fault.








- Hi there.
- Hi. Did you get there all right?


Jury duty starts tomorrow?


How's your hotel? Comfy?

They're all the same.

Try any Vladivostok specialties.

What's the specialty?

I don't know, so I'm asking you.

How lazy.

A week later

For 25 years he's been pretending
to be someone he's not.

Look at that swagger,
acting like he's some kind of lord!

You envy him, don't you?

Yes, I do. I envy him a lot.

Such good luck with women!

Don Juan himself couldn't have had more experience!

His first wife, who was my sister...


What a relief.

I'm OK.

You're really all right?

I don't know yet.

They examined me.
Still waiting for the results.

Glaucoma in your left eye.


Damage to the optic nerve
causing partial vision loss.

Loss of vision in one eye is hard to detect
because the other eye adapts.

Which means that it doesn't impact daily activities,

and by the time one notices it, it's often too late.

You were lucky it was diagnosed early.

Can I drive?

It's not impossible.

That means I can?

Yes, if your symptoms don't worsen.

How is it treated?

The root cause of glaucoma
is still unknown, so it can't be cured.

The goal is to slow its progression.

These eye drops lower eye pressure.

You might doubt the effect,
but you'll lose your vision if you stop using it.

Make sure you use them twice daily.

"Died February 25, 2001"

You wanted to drive today, didn't you?


Well, you just got your car back.

I love you dearly, but...

What, all of a sudden?

There's one thing I can't stand.


Your driving. Face forward.

Why didn't you change lanes just now?

Hey, that could be considered verbal harassment.

Honestly speaking...

did you want kids again?

I don't know.

Nobody can take her place, after all.

But we could have loved them as much.

There's no use in me wanting
something that you don't want.

I'm sorry.

It's not your fault.
I made that choice with you.

So it's all right.

I really do love you so much.


I'm so glad you're with me.

One day, she remembers her previous existence.

You mean that girl who sneaks in?

She used to be a lamprey in her previous life.

A lamprey?

She was a noble lamprey.

She didn't leech off the fish

that passed overhead like other lampreys did.

She fastened her suction cup-like mouth
to a rock on the riverbed

and did nothing but sway there.

Until she wasted away

and really became like riverweed,

she clung to the rock.

She doesn't remember how she died.

Did she starve to death?

Was she eaten by other fish?

All she remembers is swaying
at the bottom of the river.

In Yamaga's room, she suddenly understands.

What she's doing here is the same.

She can't tear herself away from his room,
just like how she clung to a rock.

Come to think of it, the silence in this room

is very similar to under water.

Time stands still.

Past and present fade away.

And she...

becomes a lamprey again.


begins to masturbate on Yamaga's bed.

She strips off all her clothes one layer at a time.

She'd forbidden herself from doing it,

but now she can't stop.

Tears fall,

wetting the pillow.

She thinks that those tears are her token for today.

Just then, someone comes home.

A door opens downstairs.

She notices then that it's starting
to get dark outside the window.

Is it Yamaga?

Or his father?

His mother?

She hears that person coming up the stairs.

It's over.

But now, she can stop at last.

At last, it'll all end.

She can finally escape the karmic fate from her prior life.

She'll become a new person.

The door opens.

"Neither eel nor fish!? Lamprey."

Do you remember yesterday's story?

Sorry, I don't remember clearly.
I was pretty much asleep.

I see.


That just means it wasn't worth remembering.

I have to go.

You have plans today?

I'm teaching a workshop. Didn't I tell you?



Are you driving?


Sorry, I still had it.


Can you handle it?

- I'll be fine. See you...
- Yusuke.

When you return tonight, can we talik?

Of course. Why do you ask?

- Have a nice day.
- You too.

Is she faithful to him?

Yes, unfortunately.

Why unfortunately?

Because that woman's fidelity
is a lie through and through.

There's an abundance of rhetoric, but no logic in it.

My life is lost,

there's no turning back.

That thought haunts me
like an evil spirit day and night.

My past went by without event.
It's unimportant.

But the present

is worse.

What should I do about my life and my love?

What happened...

When you speak to me of love and romance,

I feel like I'm in a daze

and don't know what to say.

Oh... Lord, have mercy.


I'm miserable.

If you only knew how miserable I am.

What can we do? We must live our lives.

Yes, we shall live, Uncle Vanya.

We'll live through the long, long days,

and through the long nights.

We'll patiently endure the trials
that fate sends our way.

Even if we can't rest, we'll work for others

both now and when we have grown old.

And when our last hour comes

we'll go quietly.

And in the great beyond, we'll say to Him

that we suffered,

that we cried

that life was hard...





Please send an ambulance.

"Oto Kafuku Funeral Service"

So sudden... a cerebral hemorrhage.

For 25 years he's been pretending
to be someone he's not.

Look at that swagger,
acting like he's some kind of lord!

(You envy him, don't you

Yes, I do. I envy him a lot!

His first wife, who was my sister,

was a wonderful, kind woman.

And she loved him
from the bottom of her heart,

the way an untainted,
noble human loves an angel.

And his second wife,
as you can see, is a lovely, smart woman.


(Is she faithful to him?)

Yes, unfortunately.

(Why unfortunately?)


that woman's fidelity

is a lie through and through.


(Don't talk like that.)

(Come on...)

(Shut up, Waffles.)

(No, I'll have my say.
My wife took off with her lover)

2 years later

Of course..

I'm sure that

the truth

no matter what it is, isn't that frightening.

What is most frightening

is not knowing it.

"Hiroshima Arts and Culture Theater"


- Are you tired after the long trip?
- Not at all.

Long time no see, Ms. Yuzuhara.

Let me introduce you.
Yoon-su will participate as the dramaturge.

We've exchanged e-mails.

As we explained over e-mail,

your residency will be for 2 months
until December, starting today.

6 weeks of rehearsals
and 2 weeks of performances.

Auditions will already begin tomorrow.

Here are the audition sheets.

Thank you.

We informed theaters around Asia

and received applications
from Korea, China, Hong Kong,

Taiwan and the Philippines.


I'll interpret Korean.

People who can speak English
will communicate with you directly.


Actors from overseas were recommended
by the local theaters' program directors.

And we also received
many applications from within Japan.

Even I recognize some faces.

I'll have a look. Can't wait.

Now let's go to your residence.

We found a place about an hour away by car,
just like you requested.

Thank you.

On a scenic island, since you're here.

An island, huh?

Also, we've hired a driver for you
according to our rules.

So our driver will be handling
your car, is that all right?

About that... I'll drive my own car.

I've got insurance.
Please don't mind me.

This isn't about hospitality, actually.
We can't let you drive.

What do you mean?

An artist ran over a person
by accident in the past.


It was terrible.
Since then, it's become the rule

to provide a driver
for our resident artists, no exceptions.

I go over my lines while I'm driving.

It's an important routine for me.

That's why I asked you
to book a hotel some distance away.

We're sorry.

We should have explained to you more clearly.

There's a budget set aside for it,
so the theater festival has to use it.

If it concerns you,
you're welcome to test our driver.

But don't worry, the driver is very skilled.

Let's go.

Thank you for your understanding.

I'll follow you in the official car.

She's your driver.

I'm Misaki Watari.

This is Mr. Kafuku, our stage director.

The festival hires her every year.
She knows the roads well.

She's an excellent driver.

Nice to meet you.

Sorry, but I still haven't agreed
to having you as my driver.

Is a test drive OK with yen?

Yes, of course.

No, I'll drive after all.

I'm sorry.

Is it because I'm a young woman?

That's not why.

This car is pretty old and has quirks.
It's not easy the first time.

Very well.

Then if you sense any danger
in my driving, you take the wheel.

How does that sound?

Do you prefer the passenger seat?

Any problems with

the electrical components?

No, none.

Sorry, but you said it was
an old car, so I had to make sure.

I've driven it 15 years and no problems.

I see.

Could you play the cassette tape?

The cassette tape?


I'm leaving.

Vanya, please just drop it. Do you hear me ?

I refuse.

Wait, I'm not done yet.

You destroyed my life.

I've never lived.

Because of you,

I wasted the best years of my life and spoiled them.

You're my foe. My bitter enemy.

You fool.

If this estate is yours, then take it.

I don't want it.

I'm leaving right now.
This is like hell.

I can't stand it.

I'm gifted and intelligent.
Courageous, too.

If I'd lived normally, I might have been
another Schopenhauer or Dostoevsky.

I'm sick of this nonsense.

I'm losing my mind.

Mother, I can't take it anymore.

Listen to the professor.

Mother, what should I do?

No, never mind.
Don't say anything. I know what to do.

I'll make you pay for this.

Oh, I'll do it.

What do you think?

The Setouchi sea is tranquil and lovely.

Her driving, I mean.

I'll come pick you up at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning.

OK. Sorry it's so early.

No problem.

Shall I play the tape?

Yes, please.

Uncle, are you crying

I'm not crying. It's nothing.
Don't be ridiculous.

Your eyes when you looked at me now
looked exactly like your dead mother.

Oh, Sonya. Your mother,

my sister, where is she now?

You've been ill for such a long time.

Sonya's mother Vera used to stay awake

at night for you, too.

She must have been so worried.

(Let's go, Marina.)

Hey, I haven't finished my lines yet.

Oh, well.

My own feet are in pain as well. Such a throbbing pain.

- Ok, thank you very much.
- Thank you.

Next, please.

Excuse me.



Koji Takatsuki.
I'm trying out for Astrov.

You both requested the same scene,
so enact it as a pair.


So she's Yelena, and where from?

From "You are a cunning woman."



I don't understand what she's saying.
Is it OK if I try to wing it?

Yes, go ahead. Whenever you're ready.

Oh, you are a cunning woman!

(What do you mean?)

How cunning you are!

Assuming Sonya is suffering,
let's set that aside for now.


(What are you saying?)

You know perfectly well

why I come here every day.

You know why and for whose sake I come!

- You're a tigress! My sweet...
- (A tigress?)

(What do you mean?)

A sleek, enchanting tigress...

You must have your victims!

(Are you out of your mind?)

How coy you are.

(I'm not the kind of woman you think I am.)

(I swear, I'm not that vulgar.)

No need to swear. Don't waste words.

You're so beautiful.

Such lovely hands.

(Enough of this!)

Listen to me.

This is fate, it's inevitable.

(Please stop this.)

(Let go of me.)

Meet me in the forest tomorrow.

At 2 o'clock.

All right? Be there.

Be there, OK?

(Let me go!)

That's enough. Sorry about that.


The next person is the last one. She's a bit different.

(Come in.)

She's Lee Yoon-A.

She's saying she uses Korean sign language.

You understand it?


(Nobody else chose this scene, so you'll audition alone.)

She can hear.

I'll translate in Korean if necessary.

Will that be OK?


(Please begin).

Uncle Vanya, did you take the morphine?

Give it back.

Why do you make us worry?

Give it back, Uncle Vanya.

My misfortune could perhaps be greater than yours,

but I don't give in to despair.

Until my life comes to a natural end,
I'll keep enduring it.


you must endure yours, too.

My dear and only Uncle.


Give it back.

Have pity on us.

You must endure your sorrow.

Thank you.

Not too many auditioned for the part of Vanya.

You're right.

Everyone probably thinks you'll be playing the role.

Sorry, it's so late.

No problem.




Serebryakov, Roy Lucelo.

Yelena, Janice Chang.

Sonya, Lee Yoon-A.

Voynitskaya, Kaoru Komagata.

Vanya, Koji Takatsuki.

Astrov, Ryu Jeong-Eui.

Telegin, Takashi Kimura.

Marina, Yumi Eto.


Excuse me.
You want me to play Vanya?


There's quite an age-gap.

You can wear make-up.
Everyone's role doesn't match their actual age.

If уош'ге unwilling, then don't sign.

The role will go to someone else.

When you finish signing,
we'll start reading the script.

(Superb! How wonderful!)

(What a stunning view.)

The view is indeed wonderful, your Excellency.

Mr. Kimura, please say it slower.

- Slower than that?
- Yes,

And enunciate more clearly so that everyone can hear.



The view is indeed wonderful, your Excellency.



Ladies and gentlemen, tea is ready.

(If you don't mind...)

(Hush, someone will hear you.)

No, let me say that I love you.
Don't drive me away.

That's all I need to be happy.

(I can't stand this.)

Thank you. Let's stop here for today. Good work.

Aren't you cold?

Not at all.

From now on...


Could you wait in the car
when I'm running late?

I feel uncomfortable knowing
you're waiting in the cold.

No, thank you.

I know you cherish this car, so I can't relax.

If you know that, then it's no problem.

Just smoke outside.

Fine, then. Only when it's really too cold.

Shall I play the tape?


But allow me, as an old man,
give one word of advice before parting.

Everyone, the important thing is to work.

You must keep working.

Mr. Kafuku.

Could I invite you out for a drink?
My car is here, too.

You're driving?

Yes, so if you don't mind,
how about the bar at my hotel?

I'll be a bit late.

No problem.

I'll bring my car around, then.

Please follow me.

I actually sometimes
do a search on your name online.

That's how I found this audition

and that day was the deadline.
Isn't that amazing?

Why are you interested in me?

I really liked acting out Oto's screenplays.

Saying her lines made me happy.

My theater projects
and Oto's screenplays are different things.


But when I saw your play that time,

I felt that what you two were doing
were the same, albeit in different ways.

How so?

Tough question.

I get the feeling that you both value

the finer details that people won't even notice.

I actually like things like that.

But I wouldn't have known
if I hadn't acted out Oto's scripts.

When I saw the casting call,
I knew this was my only chance.

I'm not sure if you know,
but I'm working freelance now.

I know. Though in my case
I didn't have to look you up.

Is that so.

That's embarrassing.

How stupid.

You were a star.

No, I was framed.

Do you do things like that often?

Things like what?

With women you barely know.

Don't you?


Lots of women must approach you, too.

All you have to do is say no.

I don't do it with just anybody, either.

If you click and want
to get to know her better... Not ever?

Sex isn't the only way to get to know someone.

But some things you can't know unless you do it.

- Like what?
- Like...

What's the matter?

Just that..

why am I talking to you about this?

Oto must have been happy with a husband like you.

I wonder.

If you don't mind,
could you tell me something about her?

Something about her?

How you two met,

how she wrote her screenplays,

everyday conversations. Anything.

Here's what you're thinking.

"He and I share the same pain, because..."

"we loved the same woman."

Oh please. Mine was just an unrequited longing.

You were in love with her.

I don't deny it.

She was lovely. Very much so.


So I'm jealous of you, Mr. Kafuku.

Forgive me.

You're jealous...

of me?

Excuse me.

You took a picture, didn't you?

You took one just now.

Delete it.

What's the matter with you?

I'm leaving now.


- The check, please.
- Yes, sir.

I'm sorry.

I invited you today.

It's OK.

I'm glad to be here now,
to be able to perform under your direction.

I believe Oto brought us together.

I look forward to working
with you again from tomorrow.

Yeah. See you tomorrow.

What's the matter? You look so glum.

Is it because you feel sorry for that professor?

Leave me alone.

(Or because you're in love with his wife?)

She's a good friend of mine.


What do you mean by "already"?


Still too much emotion?

Ryu i's doing it right. Emulate him. Continue.

(There's a proper order for a woman
to become a man's friend.)

(First, she's an acquaintance,)

(then she's lover, and finally,
she becomes a good friend.)

What a banal philosophy.


Try focusing on your text.
All you have to do is read it.







From where we left off, then.

I didn't get him? I missed again?

Damn it.

God damn it.

(Get me out of here.
Kill me if you must.)

(I can't stay here anymore.)

What's wrong with me? What am I doing?


Good work, everyone.

Mr. Kafuku.


Could we do a little interview
for the festival website?


We need a video, so somewhere outside.

All we do is read the text.

When will we start moving?

Honestly, the foreign language-parts lull me to sleep.

- Me too!
- Me too.

- Though not in a bad way.
- Yeah, it's like hearing a sutra.

Sounds like a blessing when you put it that way.

Yoon-su, where did you learn Japanese?

I studied Noh in graduate school
at Waseda University for 2 years.

Korean, English, Japanese,
and sign language. That's awesome.

Japanese and Korean have similar grammar,
so learning the vocabulary is enough.

I've liked English from a young age.

When did you learn sign language?

Mr. Kafuku, you kindly offered to take me home.

May I invite you over for dinner today?

No, I don't want to intrude.

There's something I have to apologize to you about.

- What is it?
- You'll know when we get there.

Both of you, please come inside.

Let's go. He probably doesn't feel
comfortable making you wait hungry.

There's no need to worry about that.

I wouldn't worry. But I'm sure he will.

Come on.

My wife.

She says it looks like me.

That's mean.

These potatoes are from the back yard. She grew them.

This Is what I wanted to apologize to you about.

Why didn't you tell me?

She worried you might find it hard to reject her,
if you knew she was my wife.

No, I...

You wouldn't mind, I can tell.

But silence is golden.

To answer your question,
I learned sign language after meeting her.

I wanted to know her language so I learned it.

That's really something.

She's originally a dancer,

and I was the coordinator
when her dance company performed in Busan.

Love at first sight.

Don't tell her.

Why Hiroshima?

I was invited to the theater festival 3 years ago.

And Yoon-A came with you?

Yes. When I got the offer,
I debated whether or not she should come along.

In Korea, she has family and friends
who know sign language.

I thought she would be lonely here.

But I figured I could listen
to her like a hundred people.

I felt that I'm the only one,
who could support her.

Why did you decide to audition?

"I got pregnant and took time off from dancing,"

"but had a miscarriage."

"Although I wanted to work again,
my body refused to dance."

"That was when my husband told me
about you and suggested I try it."

Thank you.

Is there anything hard about rehearsals?

"Why do you ask me something,
that you don't ask others?"

"You don't have to be nicer to me
than you are to other people."

"People not understanding
my words is normal for me."

"But I can see and hear."

"Sometimes I can understand
a lot more than words."

"That's what's important
in our rehearsals, right?"


"So right now, every day is so much fun."

Chekhov's text comes inside me and"

moves my body that was stuck before."

"I'm glad I got my courage up."

Glad to hear that.

Do you like spicy food?

Yes. It's good.

How's her driving?

It's fabulous.

She speeds up and slows down
so smoothly, I hardly feel gravity.

Sometimes I forget I'm in a car.

I've experienced many people's driving,
but it's never been so pleasant.

I'm glad she was assigned
as my driver is how I feel now.

"Compliment us actors
as much for once," she says.

This means, "to compliment"?


Thank you for inviting me.

It was Yoon-su who invited us.

They were a lovely couple.

Now I'm curious about your rehearsals.

Yoon-A's Sonya.

I've been hearing your tape,
so I kept thinking, "She's Sonya."

You're welcome to watch.

No, thank you. I'm sorry.

- Come watch us...
- Shall I play the tape?


Vanya, you're educated and intelligent,

so you must surely understand

that the world isn't destroyed by villains...

Don't you get sick of hearing this?


I like this voice is why.


Whose voice is it?

My wife.


The flow of the entire play
has to be memorized with my method.

So I listen to it over and over.

I acted in Uncle Vanya before,
so Vanya's parts are left out.

When I say my line at my pace,
the next line starts precisely.


What I said before is true.

I forget that I'm in the car
and forget that you're here.

Annoying, isn't it?

No, it's your job.

Where did you learn to drive?

My hometown.

Kami-junitaki Village in Hokkaido,

where you need a car to do anything.


My mother taught me to drive,

and I've done it since junior high.

Junior high?


My mother worked at a nightclub in Sapporo.

She took a train there, so ever since junior high

I drove her to and from our local station.

The station was an hour away.

We left the house at 5 p.m.
and I picked her up at 7 a.m.

During those two hours,

my mother wanted to sleep.

If I woke her with my driving,
she'd kick me in the back

and hit me when we arrived.

That's how

I learned to drive over
bad roads without waking her.

I see.

What you said made me very happy.


I'm grateful to my mother for teaching me how to drive.

It was for her own sake,
but the way she taught me was thorough.

I see.


No doubt it must have been so.

Will you tell me the whole truth afterwards?

Yes, of course.

I'm sure that the truth,

no matter what it is, isn't that frightening.

What is most frightening

is not knowing it.

Oh, to flirt with a man like him
and to lose oneself in his arms.

I guess, I'm a bit in love with him too.

Yes, I miss him when he doesn't come...

(My conscience tortures me)

(as if I'd killed that man).

(I sit down, and...)

(close my eyes like this, and think...)

(Will the people living 200 or 300 years from now,)

(the ones we're currently clearing the way for,)

(will they remember us and be grateful?)

(They'll all completely forget.)

People might forget,
but God will surely commend you.

(Thanks. That's good to know.)

Sorry we're late.

Either Vanya or Yelena is in most scenes.

We kept repeating the same ones
and started the walk-through.

I'm very sorry.

It was for the best, actually.

Why don't you two move a bit as well?

My life is lost, there's no turning back.

That thought haunts me
like an evil spirit day and night.

My past went by wfthouf event.
It's unimportant.

But the present is worse.

What should I do about my life and my love?

What happened?

(You say such things, but I don't know...)

(what to do.)

(I'm sorry is all I can say.)

(Forgive me. Good night.)

Please understand...


















(Who's there?)

(Is it you, Sonya?)

(It's me.)

Mr. Kafuku.

I'm very sorry about today.

Never mind.

I was just lending her an ear.

You say that,
but you can't speak English or Mandarin.

She doesn't speak Japanese.


So we ended up..

Use good judgment.

I'm sorry.

That's all I have to say.

Could you keep driving somewhere?


I still haven't seen much of Hiroshima.

Some place you like is fine.

All right.

Isn't it kind of like snow?

Straight down that way is the Peace Memorial Park.

The line between the A-Bomb Dome
and the Cenotaph is called the "axis of peace."

The architect who designed
this facility created this atrium

so that the line would continue on
to the sea without being severed.

Why did you come to Hiroshima?

Wait, never mind.

Behind our house was a hill.

5 years ago,

a landslide occurred
and our house was destroyed by the debris.

My mother died in that accident.

I'd turned 18 years old right before then,

and had just officially
obtained my driver's license.

The car was intact,
so I left home in it after her funeral.

So you're 23 years old now.


I had nowhere to go,
so I just kept heading out west.

But my car broke down in Hiroshima,
and I had no money to fix it.

So I began driving those garbage trucks.

Driving is the only thing I can do.

Do you plan on staying here?

I don't know.

My last name, Watari, is from my father,

and it's common Shimane and Hiroshima.

Though I've never met him
and don't even know if he's alive.

I see.

Your last name, Kafuku,

is uncommon, isn't it?
Written, "house" and "good luck."

It's auspicious.

My wife said the same thing before we married.

My wife's name is Oto.


Oto, as in "sound."

Oto Kafuku. What a name.

The primary reason why
she hesitated marrying me.

Her name would be "House of the Gospel."

She died 2 years ago.

Cerebral hemorrhage.

She was on the floor when I got home,

and never regained consciousness.

Does that tape creep you out now?

No, not at all.

In fact, it's...


Thank you!

I like that car.

can tell it's been treated with care,

so I also want to drive it with care.

Let's go.

There must be something.
I can't take this.

I'm 47 years old.

If I live to be 60,
that's 13 years I have before me.

That's so long.

How am I supposed
to live out those 13 years?

Such nice weather.


Let's do it over there.

(Why are you crying?)

I don't know. It's nothing.
I just started tearing up.

(Never mind. Silly, now I'm crying too.)

(You're angry with me because)

(you think I parried your father for selfish reasons.)

(I don't know if you'll believe me,)

(but I swear to you,)

(I married him for love.)

(I was infatuated with the famous professor.)

(I know now that the love was fake and not real,)

(but it seemed real at the time.)

(I couldn't help it.)

(But you've glared at me disapprovingly)

(with those clever, suspicious eyes
ever since our marriage.)

Stop, stop, we made up.

Let's forget the past.

(Don't look at others like that.)

(It doesn't suit you.)

(You should trust people,
or else life becomes impossible.)


Tell me hefiestly.

Are you happy?


(I wish you happiness)

(from the bottom of my heart.)

(As for me, I'm unimportant, like an accessory.)

(In music, in my husband's house, in romance...)

(No matter where I am, I'm just an accessory.)

(To be honest, Sonya...)

(Come to think of it, I'm very unhappy.)

(Happiness for me doesn't exist in this world.)

(Why are you laughing?)

I'm happy.

I'm just so happy.

(I want to play the piano now.)

Do play.

I'd love to hear you.

Something happened just now.

But it's still just between actors.

There's the next step.

We open it up to the audience.

We recreate that moment onstage in its entirety.

Let's do Act 3, too.



It's freezing.


Thank you for today.

About what?


Could we talk?

If you don't mind,
somewhere nearby. Just for a bit.

Where's your car?

It's being repaired.

About today...

what happened?

Between Janice and Yoon-A.

Only they know the answer to that.

One thing I can say is that this text
has the power to make that happen.

Mr. Kafuku, why aren't you
playing Vanya yourself?

Chekhov is terrifying.

When you say his lines,
it drags out the real you.

Don't you feel it?

I can't bear that anymore.

Which means I can no longer
yield myself up to this role.

But then, why me?

I feel out of place in this production.

I'm not suited for this role.

I'm sure the audience will feel the same way.

When I auditioned,
I was desperate and in shambles.

I didn't know what I was doing.

So why did you choose me?

Oto brought us together.

Please, don't be glib. I'm serious.

I came here to change myself.

You can't control yourself very well.


From a social standpoint, that's not good.

But it's not necessarily
a drawback for an actor.

During your audition
and our sessions, you weren't bad.

You can yield yourself to your cast mate.

Do the same to the text.

Yield yourself and respond to the text.

Respond to it?

The text is questioning you.

If you listen to it and respond,
the same will happen to you.

Go on ahead.
I'll take you to your hotel.

Check, please.

Thank you.

Mr. Kafuku offered to take me to my hotel.

OK, the same as before?

I'll go pay for parking.

Where's Takatsuki?

Sorry, let's go.

Mr. Kafuku.

I'm empty.

There's nothing inside me.

About the text questioning me...

I think I felt that with Oto's screenplays.

I came here because
I wanted to feel it again.


that bit about Oto bringing us together

is true after all.

I finally understand.

Oto and I..


We had a daughter.

She died from pneumonia when she was four.

She'd be 23 if she were alive.

Our daughter's death
marked the end of our happy times.

Oto quit acting.

I quit working in TV and returned to theater.

Oto was lethargic for years.

But then she suddenly
began writing stories one day.

No, she began telling them.

Her first story...

was born after having sex with me.

She suddenly started narrating it after having sex.

But the next morning, her memory was foggy.

I remembered it all, so I told her.

She wrote a script based on it
and sent it to a contest.

It won an award
and launched her career as a screenwriter.

"That" would strike her at times after sex.

She'd tell it to me and make me remember it.

The next morning, I'd tell her.
She'd take notes.

Eventually that became our custom.

Sex and her stories were strongly connected.

Even if it didn't seem like it.

She'd grasp a thread of a story
from the edge of orgasm and spin it.

That's how she used to write.

Not all the time.

But whenever her career
hit a wall, "that" would strike.

Those stories...

became a bond that helped us
overcome our child's death.

I think we were a compatible couple.

We needed each other to get through life.

Everyday living and our sex life

were very fulfilling.

At least they were for me.


Oto saw other men.

She's fine, don't worry.

Oto slept with other men.

Not just one.

Probably with the actors
who were cast in the dramas she wrote.

Each relationship ended with the drama,

and another would begin
when another drama started.

Do you have evidence?

I've witnessed them before.

She sometimes brought them into our home.

Even so, I've never doubted her love for me.

There was no doubt.

Oto betrayed me
so naturally while she loved me.

We were definitely deeply bonded,
more so than anyone.

Still, she contained within her

a spot that I couldn't look into,
where something dark swirled.

Didn't you ever ask her about any of this?

What I feared most was losing her.

If she found out I knew,
we wouldn't have been able to maintain our balance.

Isn't it possible that
she wanted you to hear her out?

Did Oto tell you something?

May I tell you a story she told me?


It's a very mysterious tale.

A high school girl sneaks
into the home of a boy she likes.

I've heard that one, too.

The girl who was formerly a lamprey.


She sneaks in multiple times
and leaves a token of herself each time.

One day, she starts masturbating on Yamaga's bed.

Someone comes home,
but the story ends without telling who it was.


It doesn't end there.

You know what happens next?


Who was it, then?

Who came up the stairs?

Another intruder.

Another one?


It wasn't Yamaga, or his father, or his mother.

Just a burglar.

The burglar finds her half naked in the room

and attempts to rape her.

She takes a pen lying around
and stabs the man in the left eye.

She struggles desperately,

and stabs the pen in his temple,
in his neck, over and over.

She notices the man has gone limp.

She has killed the burglar.

She washes the blood off
in the shower and goes home.

The token she left in Yamaga's room that day

was the burglar's corpse.

The next morning,
she goes to school prepared to confess

everything to Yamaga and face his judgment.

But Yamaga looks the same
as usual at school that day.

She sees him play soccer
after school seemingly carefree as always.

Things are the same the next day.

Nothing has changed.
What became of that body in Yamaga's house?

Did she just imagine what happened?

She goes to Yamaga's house
but nothing seems out of the ordinary.

Except for one thing...

A surveillance camera
has been set up by the front door.

To not appear guilty,
she walks past his house without stopping.

Something terrible had happened,

and she was to blame,

but the world seemed serene
as if nothing had changed.

However, the world had definitely
changed to something sinister.

She turns back.

"I must take responsibility for what I've done."

"I can't pretend it didn't happen."

"Because it definitely happened."

"I definitely killed that man."

She searches under the planter
but the key is no longer there.

She stares at the surveillance camera.

Because it's the only change
she has elicited in this world.

She looks into the lens and

repeats her words over and over.

Clearly, so that she's understood,

"I killed him."

"I killed him."

"I killed him."

This is as far as I know.

Maybe the tale ends there,
or maybe it continues.

The story leaves a bad taste,

but even so, when I heard it from her,

I felt that Oto had handed me
something important.

Mr. Kafuku.

As far as I know,
Oto was a really lovely woman.

Of course, what I know must be
a tiny fraction of what you know about her.

But I still think so with certainty.

You lived with such
a lovely person for over 20 years,

and you should be grateful about that.
That's my opinion.

But even if you think
you know someone well

even if you love that person deeply,

you can't completely
look into that person's heart.

You'll just feel hurt.

But if you put in enough effort,

you should be able
to look into your own heart pretty well.

So in the end, what we should be doing

is to be true to our hearts

and come to terms with it in a capable way.

If you really want to look at someone,

then your only option is

to look at yourself squarely and deeply.

That's what I think.

You can go now.

It didn't sound like he was lying.

I don't know if it's the truth,

but he was telling you what was true to him.

I can tell.

Because I grew up among liars.

I had to discern it or I couldn't survive.

Are you sure?


See, there they go again!
Those vulgar geese!

Acting so boorishly!

(Stop that man! He's gone mad!)

(Stop that man! He's gone mad!)

- (Give it to me-!)
- Let me go, Yelena, let me go!

Where is he?

Ah, there he is!


I didn't get him?

I missed again?

Damn it...

God damn it!

(Get me out of here!)

What's wrong with me?

(Kill me if you must.
I can't stay here anymore!)

What am I doing?





Takatsuki, that was good.

- Takatsuki...
- Excuse me.


I'm Kato, Hiroshima North Police.

Excuse me.

Koji Takatsuki?


Could we speak someplace else?

Here is fine.

On Sunday, November 24,

at around 7:30 p.m., you got into a fight and beat up a man in Shintenchi Park.

Is that correct?

You were caught on camera.

That man died in the hospital yesterday.

Yes, I saw the news.

I did it. That's correct.

Come with us to the police station.

- May I change?
- Yes.

"Hiroshima North Police"

The lawyer...

says that Mr. Takatsuki admits to the charge of injury resulting in death.

Can I see him?

Not now.

More importantly, what shall we do about the play?

Must we think about that now?

Yes. It's something we must think about.

We have two choices.

We cancel it,

or you act in it.

I can't do that.

You know all the lines.

Vanya in Japanese like Takatsuki would be the least disruptive.


Why are we discussing this now?

I can't do it.

Then let's cancel.

Is that all right?

Give me some time.

We can wait 2 days. That's the limit.

I understand.

I'll get back to you.

Do you know of a place where...

can think in peace?

I'll drive you somewhere.

Kami-junitaki Village.

Are you willing to show me

the place where you grew up?

There's nothing there.

If that's OK with you.

I don't mind.

I'll take the wheel somewhere.

We should take turns to get there in a day.

No taking turns.

Why not?

Because driving is my job.

I can go without sleeping for a day.

Thank you.

You can rest a bit more.

I can sleep in the ferry.

I see.

The day Oto died...

She asked before I left
if we could talk when I got home.

Her tone was gentle but determined.

I had no plans that day,
but kept on driving.

I couldn't go home.

I thought that once I went home,
we would never be the same again.

I found her collapsed
when I returned late at night.

I called an ambulance,

but she never regained consciousness.

What if I'd gone home a bit earlier?

I think so every day.

I killed my mother.

When the landslide crushed our home,

I was inside, too.

I was able to crawl out from the fallen house.

After escaping, I gazed at
the half-collapsed house for a while.

Then some more debris came falling
and completely destroyed it.

My mother was found dead under the debris.

I knew she was still in the house.

I don't know why I didn't call for help,
or why I didn't save her.

I hated her, but that wasn't
the only thing I felt about her.

This scar on my cheek is from that accident.

I was told surgery could make
it less conspicuous,

but I don't feel like erasing it.

If I were your father,

I'd hold you round the shoulders and say,

"It's not your fault."

"You did nothing wrong."

But I can't say that.

You killed your mother,

and I killed my wife.


...altercation with Kazuya Yamauchi of Hiroshima

and assaulted him,
repeatedly punching him in the face.

Yamauchi was taken to hospital
but was pronounced dead.

Koji Takatsuki is an actor who has appeared
in many dramas and movies,

but after reports of his relationship
with a minor broke last year,

he worked independently,
quitting his management company in january.

Good morning.

"Flowers & Vegetables For Sale"

Is this where you...


It's changed a lot.

Could we go up there?

That's our house.

My mother

had a separate personality named Sachi.


She first appeared when I was 14.

She said she was 8 years old,

but she never aged in 4 years.

Sachi would

often appear after
my mother beat me up terribly.

It was like her awareness
didn't match the body of an adult,

so she couldn't move well.

She'd try to walk but fall over,

and would end up just sitting still.

Sachi liked puzzle rings.

We did crosswords together.

Sachi cried a lot for no reason.

Whenever she did, I'd hold her

and rub her back over and over.

I liked those times.

The last beautiful thing in my mother

was condensed in Sachi.

Sachi was

my only friend.

I don't know if my mother was mentally ill,

or if she was acting to keep me close to her.

But even if she were acting,

it was from the bottom of her heart.

Becoming Sachi was my mother's way

of surviving in a hellish reality, I think.

When that landslide occurred,

I knew that my mother's death

meant that Sachi would die, too.

Even so...

I didn't move.

It's dirty.

Mr. Kafuku,

about Oto...

Would it be hard for you to accept her,

everything about her, as genuine?

Maybe there was nothing
mysterious about her.

Would it be hard to think
that she was simply like that?

That she loved you dearly and

that she sought other men constantly

don't seem to contradict
each other or sound deceptive to me.

Is that strange?

I'm sorry.

I should have been hurt properly.

I let something genuine slip by.

I was so deeply hurt.

To the point of distraction.


Because of that...

I pretended not to notice it.

I didn't listen to myself.

So I lost Oto.


Now I see.

I want to see Oto.

If I do, I want to yell at her.

Berate her.

For lying to me all the time.

I want to apologize.

For not listening.

For not being strong.

I want her back.

I want her to live.

I want to talk to her just once more.

I want to see her.

But it's too late.

There's no turning back.

There's nothing I can do.

Those who survive

keep thinking about the dead.

In one way or another,

that will continue.

You and I

must keep living like that.

We must keep on living.

It'll be OK.

I'm sure

we'll be OK.

I refuse! Wait, I'm not done yet!

You destroyed my life. I've never lived.

Because of you, I wasted
the best years of my life and spoiled them.

You're my foe. My bitter enemy!

I can't stand it.

(But what do you want?)

I'm going.

(What earthly right have you
to use such language to me?)

(You fool!)

(If this estate is yours, then take it, I don't care!)

(This is like hell.
I can't stand it. I'm leaving now.)

I'm gifted and intelligent.
Courageous, too.

If I'd lived normally, I might have been
another Schopenhauer or Dostoevsky.

I'm sick of this nonsense!

I'm losing my mind!

Mother, I can't take it anymore!

Listen to the professor!

Mother, what should I do?

No, never mind.
Don't say anything. I know what to do.

I'll make you pay for this!


I'm miserable.

If you only knew how miserable l am.

What can we do?

We must live our lives.

Yes, we shall live, Uncle Vanya.

We'll live through the long, long days,

and through the long nights.

We'll patiently endure
the trials that fate sends our way.

Even if we can't rest,

we'll continue to work for others

both now and when we have grown old.

And when our last hour comes

we'll go quietly.

And in the great beyond, we'll say to Him

that we suffered

that we cried

that life was hard.

And God...

will have pity on us.

Then you and I...

we4l see that bright, wonderful,

dreamlike life before our eyes.

We shall rejoice, and

with tender smiles on our faces,

we'll look back on our current sorrow.

And then at last

we shall rest.

I believe it.

I strongly believe it
from the bottom of my heart.

When that time comes,

we shall rest.

(Need a plastic bag?)

(No, i'm fine.)

(Saving your points?)