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By James Sutherland

GENRE: Comedy, Drama

A taxi driver struggling to cope with the recent loss of his son and desperate to be heard, attempts to find a sympathetic ear in one of his passengers.


Taxi driver Tatsuo Yamazaki has lost his son. His estranged daughter is out of contact, he is left only with his son’s pet dog Taru.

Tatsuo appears to be a bad driver, weaving through the street and obstructing other travellers. His clumsiness comes from lack of attention; what he really wants to do is tell someone about the death of his son. He cannot drive and tell his story at the same time, so passengers insist that he attend to driving.

After a few more hours, three young revellers demand his services. Although they abuse him, he would rather be with them than alone. When he confides in them, one of the passengers, who may be trying to avoid facing his own case of consumption, generalizes that we all die and reiterates his wish to hurry to the destination where more pleasure awaits him. They drop a revolver in the back seat of Tatsuo’s taxi.

When Tatsuo is left alone again in the falling snow, he finds his suffering unbearable. He is silent and isolated in a crowded, noisy city. He returns to the Taxi dispatch and his fellow drivers who are off duty but finds no one among the exhausted drivers who will listen to him. Again, alone in a crowd of people, Tatsuo pictures what has happened.

Finally, he goes to his taxi, a woman jumps in the back the nearest he can come to finding a sympathetic listener. He goes home, the revolver has two bullets left, he hugs his sons’ dog and puts a bullet in it. He is about to end his life when the heat from the barrel makes him drop the gun, the weapon discharges. He is left with a dead dog and no ammunition. What a week.

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