Sunday, July 10, 2016

DVD Movie Review #184 Departures

I don't know what it was I expected when I first sat down to look at this I really didn't know what to expect. I didn't look at the previews or read anything about it. I just knew it was an Oscar winner, it was on my list and it suddenly got so rare due to being out of print that it shot up to $135 in Amazon. Thank goodness for old library copies being sold on ebay. I was able to get a copy and prioritized moving on and seeing this as any film with subtitles takes extra work.

Our hero was left by his father at a young age and learned to play the Cello for an orchestra. This is what I figured the story would dwell upon but then it changed. The Cello player's orchestra was disbanded, he had to sell his Cello and move with his wife back to his old hometown and into his family home. Now he is unemployed and looking for work but sees an ad in the paper for a job requiring no experience and paying rather well. Little did he know that this job would not only be one he couldn't refuse but one that would change his life forever.

I was originally expecting a piece about a struggling musician trying to make his life work in an unforgiving society (as I said I didn't look into this much past the cover). I am first very impressed by the acting in this. When watching a lot of Japanese live action films the acting is usually over the top but in this it was remarkably on point. I know there is a little bit of lost in translation stuff here but you know there is something about even work that is loved. The story was very unique in the premise and it was very fun at first with room for situational comedy and finally ending in moments that made me tear up a little. The overarching story of the man himself is present but it isn't in your face the whole time leaving you that much more into it in the end when it all comes together. Finally we get to the music which is also a highlight in the series the places where he actually plays adds not only to the soundtrack but to the overall feel of the film. This is very much a classic.

I feel some of the issues were los tin translation. The acting was very on point for a Japanese live action but at the same time came across as over the top at times. I still am a little confused about him sitting alone at the top of the stairs staring out into Out a window? I get that he is brooding but it came across more as strange. The other issue I had was the ending, though I felt it wrapped everything up I don't know it just felt...abrupt.

This is an excellent film worthy of one of my few high ratings. For those of you hand full that do follow my reviews you know that I will give 7's with frequency but few go beyond that point. This film is worth watching and It saddens me that it is out of print and unavailable at large. Get a copy while you can.

Raging: 9/10

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