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Under the Open Sky (2020) – English Review

A man is released from prison after serving a 13-year sentence after killing a man. The problem is that he’s a former yakuza member, and he’s not getting much help to start his new life since he was a former yakuza member. Will he try to be a law-abiding citizen, or will he again walk down the dark path?

Under the Open Sky came out the same year as, A Family aka Yakuza and the Family. The story in both movies has a lot in common where we follow two former yakuza members who have both served a prison sentence. And when they get released from prison, they must try to become law-abiding citizens with no help from the government.

But Under the Open Sky isn’t as dark as, A Family aka Yakuza and the Family. Under the Open Sky has a lighter tone, and it also has some comedy in it. So it’s a movie that tries to be charming, something I didn’t like.

The protagonist also tries to find his biological mother, who left him when he was a young boy. He has almost spent half of his life behind bars. He has always been a troublemaker, and he has anger issues. And it doesn’t take long before he’s also diagnosed with heart problems.

So we follow the protagonist when he visits friends from his past. And some people are trying to help him when he returns to society. Some are planning to make a documentary about his life, and they are trying to find his biological mother.

Under the Open Sky, was for me, a little flat. I didn’t care so much about the protagonist, as I didn’t find him interesting. He’s an angry man, and now he must try to hide his anger so he doesn’t get in trouble again. He’s an angry little boy trapped inside a middle-aged man. It’s hard to watch when he gets angry. It’s embarrassing to see him blow up. Get a grip, man!

There is a scene that bothered me when he gets a job at a retirement home. Some of his colleagues are harassing a person who works there. They talk shit about him because he has an intellectual disability. It felt so fake. If you work with elderly persons and take care of them, I expect you are a better person than the ones we see here. It doesn’t feel right at all. It felt like the scene was just created to see what the protagonist would do. Will he explode, or will he stay calm? It was an unnecessary scene! It made me furious!

I would recommend you to watch, A Family aka Yakuza and the Family, instead of, Under the Open Sky. A Family aka Yakuza and the Family feels more honest, while Under the Open Sky wishes to please everyone.

Rating: 6/10

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