Departures

40 Comments

I guess many of you know that this Japanese movie has won an Oscar this year under the category "best film in foreign language". It made me curious, especially coz of the title, which I feel has a mystic sound to it, though the movie was no mystery and in fact was more on the philosophical lines but not one-bit boring.

The story is short and simple. Its about a guy called Daigo who's ambition is to become a great cello player but ends up jobless as his theatre group shuts down. With lots of debts pending he has no other option better than to move back to his hometown along with his wife, Mika. Once there he comes across a wierd job as an encoffiner which he mistakes for a musical offer in a travel agency due to a printing mistake on the newspaper advert. Encoffining is a Japanese custom of dressing up the dead for their journey after death, in short, for their "departures". After knowing the truth he tries to back off but Sasaki, the boss/owner of the business badly needs an heir and feels Daigo could be the one. He coaxes him into it by offering him the most wanted money that the guy badly needs. Daigo accepts the offer but only for some time until he gets his real job. Slowly the word spreads and he couldn't give up the job as he needed the money. His friends and wife abandon him. He becomes a loner but gets attached to his boss and his job which he starts liking. Days go by with the boss and Daigo visiting various funeral homes and dressing up the dead for their families. They experience the emotional stress along with the grieving families. Throughout the movie Daigo keeps resenting his father who has abandoned him and his mother during his childhood but he finally comes to terms with it. He realizes that maybe this was the reason he was destined to become an encoffiner.

Art-movie lovers will love this film. Its in Japanese but could be watched with english sub-titles. The scenes where Daigo tries to learn the skill of encoffining were very comic. The scenes with the dead bodies are quite touching. Music was OK but it could have been better. Acting was good and in fact expressive; the movie could be watched mute. Editing was good from the first frame to the last. The Japanese have a way of bringing art-forms into every aspect of life and this art of dressing up the dead for their departure into another world was very well portrayed in this movie. All-in-all, its a "worth watching" film.

Image courtesy: http://www.impawards.com/


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40 comments:

le embrouille blogueur said...

Great review Rads ... need to catch up on all the new movies ... your comment section is working now .. I gave up after a few failed attempts on your last post ...if you get a chance and you like foreign language movies ... you can watch Red Lantern !!

Mythri N said...

nice review...thanks for sharing!

rads said...

@le embrouille blogueur: Thanks :) Sure I'll try to watch that.

rads said...

@Mythri N: No probs :)

kittymatti said...

Very nice review Radhika. Will try to watch it soon

rads said...

@kittymatti: Thanks, its a good watch :)

A journey called Life said...

nice review rads..

rads said...

@A journey called Life: Thanks Aparna :)

Ravan (SiD) said...

wow...wat a muvie...now i gotta watch it...:D

Ameya said...

Would make an interesting watch!!
But here in India, such movies are hard to get.
Anyways, that was a short but a to-the-point review

thethoughtfultrain said...

I am gonna look out for this one. I love foreign movies. Coincidently, I did a movie write up too. About 10 items or less.

rads said...

@Ravan (SiD): So I gather you're an art-movie lover too :)

rads said...

@Ameya: Hmm yea it might be difficult to get them in India. Thanks :)

rads said...

@thethoughtfultrain: Cool I'll check yours sometime.

pawan said...

Well,
Glad to find a blogger interested in movies down here! I didn't watch this movie, but I surely will download it the first thing in the morning!. And yea, I am an art film lover and so I'll take my chance too!

Btw, I feel you will like Swedish movies more, try them. I highly recommend you to watch Du Levande (You,the Living), you will simply love it!

Cheers!
Happy movie watching!
(And sorry for the FREE advice!, I couldn't resist the temptation!)

rads said...

@pawan: Glad to see another art movie lover, try to rent the movie from netflix, if possible. Thanks for the advice, don't be sorry, its good to get such info, I never watched swedish movies but will try to now.

Anonymous said...

Nice review!
Sorry,I couldn't watch this movie.
But I know about this story.

Thank yoy for your mail,and watching this Japanese movie!
myu-myu

rads said...

@Anonymous: No probs myu-myu :)I enjoyed watching the movie. Thanks and welcome to my blog.

Ramesh said...

Yippee - you've changed your comments format and I can now comment instead of sending an email. Of such joys are life in this place made !

Nice review Rads. Even a movie non goer like me is interested.

rads said...

@Ramesh: WOW that's cool gr8 to hear it...you can watch the movie once...

Kokonad said...

Ok, now I am definitely going to watch this movie! :)

rads said...

@Kokonad: Its worth watching :)

ani_aset said...

nicely done review rads :)

rads said...

@ani_aset: Thanks :)

theishu said...

Nice :)

If you like foreign movies with a comedy+drama mix, you should watch Gwoemul ("The Host"). It's one of the biggest South Korean hits.

Lemme know what you think of that :)

rads said...

@theishu: Sure I'll check that out...

preposterous girl said...

Hi..
sorry havent been here for quite a long time..Actually I was a lil busy with exams..Have to do alot of catching up..

U have been tagged on my blog .please check this out http://preposterousgirl.blogspot.com/2009/08/pg-unleashed-alphabetically.html

rads said...

@preposterous girl: Oh plz don't apologize...hope your exams went gr8...i'll chk the tag...

sammythewizzy said...

ola!! an old friend returns :)

seems like an interesting movie, but ive never really felt involved while watching a foreign language film with english subtitles... will still try it though - if im able to get it.. great post as always :) :) :)

rads said...

@sammythewizzy: Welcome back :) great to see your encouraging comments again...I think its a lil difficult to get it in India but do try to watch it once if possible.

kittymatti said...

Please pick your awards and tag from my blog :)

Mythri N said...

Missing your posts!
I've passed on the awards and tag..please collect them from my blog!

rads said...

@kittymatti: Thanks Preethi :)...will take up the tag as soon as possible...

rads said...

@Mythri N: Aww that's swwet of you to say that...actually I'm out of topics and my brain's run out of fuel...will post as soon as possible...

kittymatti said...

all the three awards come with the tag!

Musings of a lonely traveler said...

Rads! I have great affinity towards art movies and it was a great movie review indeed. The movie title is so artistic and one could imagine the plot of the movie in various perspectives, given. I would try to watch this movie.

rads said...

@Musings of a lonely traveler: Welcome to my blog. Thanks for readng it :) hope you'll enjoy watching it as much as I did.

Louise | UPrinting.com said...

Oh yeah, I've seen this one in the Oscars. Maybe I should try watching this too. It sounds really interesting. :D And I love Japanese films!

Jen..The Butterfly Effect said...

Wow! I so want to watch this movie! I'll soon hit the DVD stores! And thanks sweet Rads for looking up through my blog and for the follow. :)
Following you back :)Your lucky 44th follower! ;)

rads said...

@Jen: Hmm this is a classic now...I hope you do find it in stores, if you do you shouldn't miss on this one...Thanks for following me back :) truly appreciate it :)