Omitsu, a barmaid and single mother, puts every morsel of her being into taking care of her young son. When her long-estranged and irresponsible husband
returns unexpectedly, Omitsu is at first resistant to his arrival but ultimately reconciles with the intention of getting her shattered family whole again. With Every-Night Dreams, Naruse paints a tragic tale of poverty and strife which ultimately speaking to the strong will which one must possess to survive in a cruel world. The father is really the key to understanding Naruse's
message - a man whose too much of a coward to face the challenges of life. This is established during his arrival, with Omitsu doubting his sincerity and willingness to fight for his family. Don't mistake this man's inability to cope for lack of compassion, as he is a character who fights tooth and nail to provide for his family before ultimately collapsing under the pressure.
Personally I found him to be a tragic character and the reason which Omitsu is so concerned with their son's ability to grow up strong minded. All these characters are well realized in fact, with Omitsu's maternal instincts and willingness to fight for her son's well-being being an incredibly affecting storyline. Quite frankly I am ashamed that I haven't explored more of Naruse's work but with Every-Night Dreams his command of the camera is impressive. Naruse seems to always know exactly when to draw attention to key moments and emotions of the film, using close-up's, montages and occasional juxtaposition to paint this tense portrait of impoverished life. Ultimately, Every-Night Dreams is a tense, beautifully tragic melodrama about the will to survive.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.