Oct 11, 2010

17th Oct 2010; DEPARTURES

A film by Yojiro Takita
Year: 2008
Country :Japan
Runtime:130 min
Japanese with English subtitles
17th Oct 2010 ; 5.45pm
Perks Mini Theater, Perks school

Advised age limit 16 years and above

Departures" is a gentle film about a quiet man in conflict with his world, his father, himself. It is also about death and its rituals. Yet the film manages to be anything but dark; whimsy and sweet irony are laced throughout, a warmhearted blend.
Daigo, it's central character, is a cello player of great dedication but middling talent, a member of a Tokyo orchestra playing to half-filled houses while he dreams big classical dreams. The demons inside Daigo (Masahiro Motoki) are quiet too. They don't so much rage as roughhouse around inside of him.
When the orchestra falls on hard times and Daigo finds himself out of a job, his dreams are the first thing to go. Then the beloved cello, soon after the apartment in the city. Stripped of everything, including his dignity, he finally begins the journey back home with his wife, Mika.
There are powerful themes in "Departures," of failure and lost fathers, but Japanese director Yojiro Takita and screenwriter Kundo Koyama handle them gently too, creating a Minimalist painting of a film that uses the sweeping solitude of the countryside, the steamy intimacy of the public baths and the close quarters of Daigo's home to give us a measure of his moods. Takita is blessed with actors who move lightly, gracefully within this landscape.
Based on the novel Coffinman by Shinmon Aoki, the film offers a moving rumination on the link between the living and the dead along with a fascinating portrait of life in rural Japan and traditions gradually being discarded by the young. It’s also funny as hell in places.
In this film, Kore-eda's "After Life" and of course Kurosawa's great "Ikiru," the Japanese reveal a deep and unsensational acceptance of death. It is not a time for weeping and the gnashing of teeth. It is an observation that a life has been left for the contemplation of the survivors.

Yojiro Takita

Takita's film career stated as assistant director at Hiroshi Mukai's Sushi Productions in 1976 with his directorial debut in 1981 and directing over twenty films. Takita feature film Komikku Zasshi Naka Irani was featured at the New York Film Festival in 1986. His filmography includes The Yen Family, We are not Alone, The Exam and Secret. His special effects fantasy Onmyoji and Onmyoji 2 were box office hits as well as his historical drama When the Last Sword is Drawn. The latest films include Ashura and The Battery.

1 comment:

sengathir said...

i saw it in one of the channel. meditative and minimalistic, as always happens with the japanese art forms. slow, deep, quiet meditative pace of the film poses questions on the dignity of the individual, personal passions, death, relationship with wife/ father/society,social relationshipamong others. truly marvellous film. one of the film in my personal list.