07 June 2014

サイレント・プア Silent Poor

Title: サイレント・プア Sairento Pua (Silent Poor)
English Title: Silent Poor
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2014
Episode: 9
  • 深田恭子 Fukada Kyoko
  • 北村有起哉 Kitamura Yukiya
  • 桜庭ななみ Sakuraba Nanami
  • 山口紗弥加 Yamaguchi Sayaka
  • 香川京子 Kagawa Kyoko
  • 市毛良枝 Ichige Yoshie
  • 大地康雄 Daichi Yasuo
  • 米倉斉加年 Yonekura Masakane
  • 坂井真紀 Sakai Maki
  • 田口浩正 Taguchi Hiromasa

パフューム Perfume - Hold Your Hand
The newly established Social Welfare Council of the district's Department of Social Welfare is tasked to deal with the troublesome townspeople who are in need of assistance, and they work with the local residents to settle disputes.

Satomi Ryo works as a community social worker (CSW) at the Social Welfare Council. She is often told that she's overdoing things when it comes to doing her job, but she believes that troublesome individuals just have problems that they couldn't resolve on their own.

Silent Poor talks about the relevance of communities in societies, particularly when it comes to resolving the issues of select individuals in the communities that cannot be addressed by established institutions and organizations.

Although it's amazing that societies have set up various institutions and organizations to assist people, it is inevitable that there will be cases wherein some people's concerns do not fall under any established parameters required to receive such assistance, or there will be instances wherein people's issues are compounded by multiple problematic situations.

As a Community Social Worker (CSW), Satomi Ryo helps various individuals in her community, such as an elderly woman who has a hoarding problem so severe that her neighbors are complaining about the dirty environment, and a divorced woman with a medical condition who also has to care for two sickly parents, a young daughter, and a brother with a psychological issue.

In the drama, Ryo works in the Social Welfare Council, a local office set up to deal with such special cases, but that may not be feasible in reality. Can other societies afford to set up similar offices? Is it particularly necessary considering that these special cases are a minority?

Ryo is very dedicated in her job that people around her even tell her that she's always overdoing things. Although I admire her for her persistence, I think she can also afford to be the way she is because it is her passion to help the needy, and she doesn't really have other pressing responsibilities such as a husband and children to look after when she gets off work.

Perhaps I am making excuses, and maybe it is true that if someone truly wants to help, he will do everything possible in order to do so. I mean, people like Ryo also have their personal issues, but they manage to set these personal matters aside and extend help to others.

However, some people who do not help probably also want to help but they cannot do so for various reasons. I mean, for most people, just trying to live day to day is a struggle. Although people don't have to donate money and they could just volunteer their time, it's possible that they don't have any spare time to set aside for community service.

Anyway, Silent Poor is quite interesting but I'm afraid it's also very depressing. The drama tackles real issues but it is resolved unrealistically, with the help of a specialized office and dedicated employees like Ryo who willingly goes the extra mile. Everything ends well in the production, but I don't think the same ending happens in the real world.

I don't have anything against Fukada Kyoko but I think she should have been aware of her limitations as an actress and I wish she hadn't accepted her role in Silent Poor. I can't help but feel like she's more concerned about looking beautiful on screen (which she does!), instead of delivering a great performance and doing the role some justice.

サイレント・プア Silent Poor