In “A Family,” director Michihito Fujii’s original script combines a yakuza actioner with a family drama. This is not the oil-and-water mix it might seem to be — after all, the “Godfather” films are also about family, despite the high body counts.
Absent in “The Godfather,” however, is the over-the-top sentimentalism that is endemic to the family drama genre in Japan, Fujii’s film included. The difference is due to directorial and cultural sensibility and, if you’re being cynical, box-office calculation. The list of Japanese dramas that became hits by targeting their audience’s tear ducts is long.