Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

Jiro Dreams of Sushi – 2011


Release: 2011

Directed By: David Gelb

Produced By: David Gelb

Starring: Jiro Ono, Yoshikazu Ono, Mashuhiro Yamatomo

Running Time: 81 Minutes

Handcrafted Doco Rolls Onto Screens and Tantalises the Pallet. 

Sushi may not be everybody’s favourite meal; however there is no doubt that the art, methodology and immense detail of the creative process is something to marvel. To many, the traditional Japanese dish is a combination of rice, seaweed and raw fish, but to others, it’s a delicious work of art.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is about an octogenarian master sushi chef and all-round perfectionist who has been referred to as the king of sushi.
Jiro Ono (of no relation to Yoko) runs a 3 Michelin Star restaurant in Ginza, Chūō, Tokyo and has served countless celebrities over the years, all of whom were drawn to the incredible hype and legacy of the masterful sushi craftsman and the documentary allows viewers to understand just how important a figure he is.

Directed by David Gelb, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a fascinating insight into the history, evolution and creation of sushi.
They make it look so simple, but the art of sushi preparation is long, tedious and demanding, and through the interviews from Jiro, his sons and associates, the audience learns first hand.

sukiyabashi-jiro-lean-tunaWe follow Jiro out of the kitchen and onto the streets of Tokyo as he ventures to the local fish market to purchase his fresh ingredients that have been deemed ‘worthy of Jiro’, all the while learning about his upbringing and life-long association with the culinary world.

The documentary is beautifully shot. There are several montage sequences that show off the beautiful, mouthwatering creations at their finest.
The slowed down sequences showcasing the preparation and skills required to achieve perfection add an element of amazement and elegance to the elite-level craftsmanship.
At the same time, when you’re charging $300 per-plate, it is assumed there is something truly special about the overall process.
The music that accompanies the documentary really matches the pacing and tone of the story at hand.
Whilst watching the eloquence within the kitchen, the sweeping piano melodies and sometimes-powerful strings add to the visuals superbly and appear a wonderful match.

Mezzanine_831Jiro as a man expects only the best in all facets of his life, and it’s no surprise he has achieved what he has. Only using the best ingredients and working above the best apprentices, Jiro’s standard is set rather high, but it’s indicative of his success and serves as an inspirational message to anybody chasing their dreams.
Chasing a career in making sushi however, which is addressed throughout the doco as a long and suffering ordeal that is only for the most patient, resilient few.
A skill that requires over a decade of training to begin with, it is mentioned in an interview that it’s only after 10 years of training that they begin to teach apprentices how to cook eggs…

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a wonderfully crafted documentary that explores a supremely gifted chef you continues to work and strive for perfection, even in his mid-80’s.
Commanding universal respect wherever he goes, Jiro Ono’s story is remarkable and worth a watch on Netflix.
The 81-minute picture is an intriguing one, especially given that for some, it could take a similar amount of time to conjure up a single California Roll…


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