“Tampopo” is a Japanese comedy film directed by Juzo Itami. The storyline of this film was about the renovation of a ramen restaurant but through this film, there were several scenes that doesn’t relate to the story line.
One of the many scenes that didn’t relate to the storyline was the Six Business Men went to a famous high-class restaurant for seafood. The restaurant was located in this white tall building and just by looking at it from its appearance, viewers can tell that this was a luxury building meant for people of high society. The tallness of the building represents unreachable, as in lower class citizens should not dare to enter because they were are worth to pay for the price of food at this place.
In this particular scene, I noticed how one of the businessmen was holding on to the young associate, refusing to let him sit because his “boss” hasn’t sat down yet. Therefore, in Japan it is custom to let the people ranked higher than you, to sit down before you can sit down. It is a sign of respect and acknowledging the fact that they are “smarter” than you.
The waitress asked one of the businessmen if he was ready to order and he said “just one moment”. The truth is, he probably had no idea what to order because he doesn’t know how to read French. No one has ordered yet and once one of the men orders, everyone else orders the same thing. It is evident to the viewers that the upper class men are having a hard time reading the menu.
Although he was a lower class then the men, he knew how to read the French Menu and ordered something completely different than what they ordered. His actions demonstrated he is quite knowledge and shouldn’t be looked down upon. While his boss was kicking him on the leg under the table, hinting him to stop trying to “act smart”, the young associate continues on with his order to prove to everyone around him, that he is indeed as smart as he sounds. He knew specific France sauces, names, foods, and culture.
The upper class men were embarrassed to look up and face the young associate. Hence, near the end of the video, the camera followed the waiter as he walked out the room. The waiter smirked a little because it is rare to see a young associate being smarter than the upper class businessmen. At the end of the night, the most respective figure in the room was not the upper class men but the young associate.
This whole scene goes by slowly because the director wanted the viewers to notice every detail in this scene. There was no shortening the shots. It was a straight run through. The director wanted viewers to understand how not necessarily all upper class men are well off educated in every field. Thus, lower class men can be knowledgeable too and should be treated equally and fair.