ANNOUNCEMENTS

20 MOVIES in 1 month challenge: 6/20

Next reviews: 30+ Single on Sale, Okja, Bloody Monday S1, Heroine Shikkaku, The Beauty inside, Terra Formars, Ayashii Kanojo, Secret Message, Vancouver's Asahi, Onmyuji ~The Yin Yang master~, Onmyouji II, Hajimari no uta, Dive to the future, The professor and his beloved equation, The Commitment,

Currently watching: Bloody Monday S2, Karei naru spy, Brilliant Legacy

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

If cats disappeared from this world (2016)

Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: drama,
Cast: Sato Takeru, Miyazaki Aoi, Hamada Gaku, Okuna Eita, Ishii Anna, Okuda Eiji, Harada Meiko,
Synopsis: There is a young man who has never thought much about his future and though it is only natural that next morning he wakes up, takes care of his cat and goes to work. One day he learns that he has a late-stage brain tumor and he might have less then a week to live. Arriving home, he finds a strange man, who looks just like him, sitting behind the dinner table. The man introduces himself as devil who can prolong his death by one day in exchange of erasing one thing from this world.  
Rating: 5/5
I have no idea how to start this review. I do not have many movies that have made completely speechless, but this definitely has done it. In every possible way, this movie is absolutely incredible.
I think what made the biggest impact to me is the way you get to know the characters and in the end you understand that in reality you do not know a single thing about them. It at least made me think about my relationships with other people and rethink how much I really know my friends.


Almost all of the characters are referred to without a name, the only character in the movie whose name is mentioned is Tatsuya and it is because of a certain reason. That's why I will call the characters "He" - the postman, "She" or "girlfriend" the ex-girlfriend, Tatsuya, mother and father - I hope it won't end up too confusing. All the characters are first introduced differently from who they actually are - it kind of makes you understand how wrong the first impression can be and how the only way you will really know the person is to actually spend time and learn things about them. It reminds me that each person's actions are based on the things they have lived through. So that's why I will also bring out the differences with the characters.
At first He seems a bit doubtful - living very ordinary life without any excitement while being not so communicative with people. With the story developing you understand how non-ordinary his life really has been. It is astonishing to see different parts of his life. The moments shown are the ones that have influenced his life the most. It also made me wonder about my own life - if I were to die tomorrow, what are the moments that played the biggest part of my life decisions? Another curious part of his story is to see how seemingly unimportant  material things play a role in his whole life. The whole concept can be just explained with "the butterfly effect" meaning disappearance of a small thing will create drastic changes in everything.
At some times they also bring out what goes on in his head - I do not mean the tumor at the moment, but his thoughts. I guess this might be my favorite role by Sato Takeru. His performance is spectacular, especially how he brings out the details in "he" and at the same time portrays the devil with totally different attitude and emotions. These kind of roles are what really bring out the greatness of the actor and make the value of his skills.
The first moment seeing ex-girlfriend gave me the idea that he was the one dumping her or they broke up because he was not man enough, but she is still a bit mad and does not want to really see him. As they recall the memories, you understand that they really are the case of "just falling apart". It is really sad to see, because you can see them happy together until one moment influences everything and they just do not know how to deal with it.
The grief is something that impacts people differently and I know very well from my own experience that people react differently and cannot even remember that for someone else it might have been the moment where suddenly the whole world seems unfair and cruel. This is exactly what happens in their relationship and it is normal that it leads to break up as being together might just remind the sadness and makes it impossible to forget the pain.
As I already mentioned, Tatsuya is the only character with a name and the reason behind it is that He always calls him "Tsutaya" which is a DVD-store in Japan. Fairly enough, it is just the change of two syllables in his name. Again, at first Tatsuya is introduced as a average guy working in a DVD-store and He is just forgetting his name all the time as if it is not important enough to remember. While the movie goes on you understand the real meaning of calling Tatsuya with wrong name and every little moment they are having. I want to acknowledge Hamada Gaku's acting too. His acting is amazing here and he gave me the emotions that I was looking for.
There is also the story of mother and father. Though they do not show so much affection for each other directly, you will receive the feeling how much they really loved each other. Since the childhood His relationship with mother is closer than with father and I would say that He is similar to his mother in every possible way. His father is a man who does not say much and keeps things to himself. I can only imagine what father actually went through once he was left alone in the house after He moved out. It can seem like He hates his father and cannot forgive him, but it is more that he has never understood his father and does not find the things to talk about.
By the last I think I should mention Retusu and Kyabatsu or as they are originally in English - Lettuce and Cabbage. They look so alike that at first I did not even think that they are different cats - maybe the "actors" of cats are the same. They show the importance of the children growing up with animals and also how animals are the best companions for a person. It made me miss my cats so much.
The way how the movie is built up is amazing. You start to understand the things by seeing more and more as the story unfolds itself. In addition, the camera-work and special effects add so much more to it. They had some scenes filmed over-seas in Argentina and it just made me want to travel to South-America right away. Also the special effects used in the movie stay into borders of reality, that makes the whole movie not so surreal.
This is definitely one of my favorite movies now and I guess I will think about it for a long time. I guess the magic with it is also that it is not depressingly sad. It just shows the life as it is - unexpected and full of doubts. It reminded me to live the fullest every day and regret nothing. If I were to die tomorrow, I want to die knowing that I have had the greatest life possible.


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