"Are you who you wanted to be?", Ryota’s son asks him. Ryota (Abe Hiroshi), once a prize winning author, now works as a dingy private eye for the alimony money, which he immediately gambles away. His unreliability and lack of self-esteem are a burden on his relationships with his son, his ex-wife and his mother (the hilarious Kiki Kirin, who – as a fellow Kore-eda veteran – also played Abe’s mother in Still Walking, 2008), whom he is cooped up with due to a storm. In the meantime, Ryota also struggles with the recent death of his father.
Director Kore-eda Hirokazu is known for his kind, understanding portraits of families (Nobody Knows, 2004; Like Father, Like Son, 2013). Bittersweet with a strong sense of the quotidian they combine major emotional themes with a mild, sometimes humorous take on human failings. After the Storm was partly filmed in the cheap housing complex he grew up in.