Okuribito.2008.Yôjirô Takita


Death only provides us with sorrowful scenes and meaningless happiness. It also gives us gloom and when you put that into film; it is really hard to uplift that scene and that’s where Departures come in. A light comedy that involves dead people and I don’t mean that in a zombie way.

The story is quite inspiring. The lead role loses his dream job in an orchestra like joining the team on a time when the group is at its end. Then, he looks for a new job, his life with his wife shows that they don’t live well financially that’s why he had to really look for a job that would help their lifestyle. He, then, ends up in the world of the dead where he is part of a small company, with a very high compensation, that involves with cleaning the corpses before they depart.

I suppose Departures or Okuribito, directed by Yojiro Takita, beat out Revanche or The Class due to its take on the non-living. Aside from the fact that almost all the scenes take place on a funeral, it was able to show that there is always the lighter side of life even in such grieving situations. And this one is not one of those films where they’ll make fun of the dead; it was all on the situation and position of the main protagonist and with every scene you’d always see the respect the Japanese has for their dead. As it was also educational at the same time to view how a first-world Asian country handle the deceased. It was a form of art Japanese are great with much like Origami for papers.

With its theme, Takita was able to pull out a very light film without showing it as uninteresting. Probably with the plots surrounding our main protagonist such as being the primary assistant of the person who prepares the dead, his relationship with his wife especially on not telling her what his real job is as preparing the dead is not really considered a respectful job albeit its high earnings, or even with the scene when he first touched the dead.

I know we’ve been bombarded by a lot of Japanese crazy films and horror movies that, in this lifetime, we should still expect something from them. That whatever crazy movie they can create, they can still give us a very respecting and good film. And with that, this film truly deserves the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film.


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