Shall We Dance

An analysis of the movie, “Shall We Dance”, by director Masayuki Suo.

This paper explains that the movie is a refreshing and provocative story of a Japanese man who breaks out of his humdrum existence through the unlikely intervention of ballroom dancing lessons. It discusses how Suo’s adept direction makes this film erotically charged and hilariously comic at the same time, as well as full of interesting and believable characters. The cinematography is flawless and engaging, and the viewer is soon immersed in the world of the unlikely hero. Ultimately, the movie’s greatest strength is in its ability transform the mundane and comic into the beautiful and sublime.
“Shall We Dance” is director Masayuki Suo’s largest break into North American cinema. Previously, his works include a pink (X-rated) movie called Daughter in Law, a TV drama, a documentary called A Taxing Woman, and a major picture called Manic Zen, followed by a movie depicting a college Sumo wrestler. Though released in English, Manic Zen was only seen in movie festivals and not released in the United States. When asked about Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu’s influence on “Shall We Dance”, Suo replies, ” I didn’t think very much about Ozu, therefore I don’t know how I was influenced… However, he credits Ozu as a great influence on his first movie, “Daughter-in-Law” (Kaufman).”