Being Two Isn’t Easy 私は二歳 (1962) – Japan
The film has a solid goal, story, design, and performances.
Like a home video, it begs for a particular mood of you to hold for enjoying.
Every boy remembers his parents making mistakes during his early years, of various size from haste, always with loving intentions, and Kon Ichikawa’s Being Two Isn’t Easy hones in on those blunders and teacherly bumps to craft a quaint comedy of the scenes that just might have happened with you, inviting us to learn and reminisce, with these fictional characters, playing their parts so well, of mother and father and a rebellious little boy.
Review: A Tax Avery Home Movie
A baby boy opens his eyes and can see for the first time, upon the film’s fade in, after nineteen days of age, and he is overwhelmed by bright spectacle about him. He recognizes his mother from her voice, in shimmering brilliance, talking to him, even when he can’t understand the words and their meaning. And the vignettes continue. He is with his father, learning to wobble his first few steps from crawling. Then he’s crawling up stair steps and panicking his parents’ neighbors. He’s a handful to watch.
Some say the first two years of child raising are the most difficult, and the film definitely picks great moments to share, of the small boy’s life with his actor parents for us to chuckle. Playing out like a Tax Avery cartoon, with whimsical trumpet music accompanying farcical film acts, the scenes blend so well, like any Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck skit, reflecting on just remembered, after-the-fact, humor in then serious scenarios.
Being Two Isn’t Easy’s aim is on investigating their relationship and highlight the comedy of dramatic instances during the boy’s early months. And it is funny, to watch the three, of him and his mother and father, building things and going to the zoo, laughing and upsetting one another, just a little, or finding danger and occupying, with genuine sentiment, each other’s life with benefit.
The performances of the parents, with the mother (Fujiko Yamamoto) and father (Eiji Funakoshi), are great matched molds for middle class parents, of Japan or wherever, with their dialogue regularly focused on work, and money, and the boy, his health — always about the boy, fittingly. And the pacing of events, on improvements within the household, moving from their apartment to a home, moves with a fun jovialness, innocent and charming.
The design affords a great opportunity to think back of your home movies, of how they have been meticulously made and arranged, hopefully cataloged and put away someplace nice. You’re wanting to cozy up and laugh with familiar faces again, and the goal of the movie is nice, with varied persectives, of the parents and then the boy/narrator.
Ichikawa makes a point to leave you wanting more, him not filling in all the details of home videos, like you want it. It’s nice to see a spaciousness to the physical comedy, and the drama is complementary. It’s a light film with enduring pleasures.