Departures (Okuribito) (Japan) (2008)

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Departures (Okuribito) (Japan) (2008)

Postby hengcs » Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:00 am

Yes, this is the film that has won Oscar Best Foreign Film in 2009!

Do I like it?
Yes, very much so ... and I think it deserves to win an Oscar ...
Have I recommended the film to others ... yes, and to a lot of my friends ...

If only I have the time, I will write more ... but I guess you can easily find a lot of reviews out there.
So, I have decided to highlight only those things that are seldom mentioned by others.

(1) Interestingly, the lead character is named Daigo. In kanji (chinese characters), it means "big realization". Maybe it was not intentional, maybe it was ... but I thought it really fits the various themes in the movie so well ...

(2) While the themes of "life and death", "kinship and friendship" (btw parents/kids, btw husbands/wives, btw colleagues/friends/neighbours) are most explicit, I thought the film has transcended its main themes to cover so much more ... it has hinted at so many things that regardless of nationalities and cultures, we can all identify with ... indeed, there are subthemes (with not just 1 incident but often more than 1 if you were to think about it) of "tradition vs modernization", "past vs present/future", "superstitions/culture vs religion", "job vs career", "ridicule vs respect", "choice vs choicelessness", "understanding vs misunderstanding", etc ...

In sum, there is so much subtlety and so much food for thoughts ... so much humor and so much tears ... what I thought wonderful was ... it is going to wrench the hearts of mainstream audience, and at the same time win the accolades of critics ...

Highly recommended

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