Departures (2008, Japanese)
1 Jan 2013
Director: Yôjirô Takita (130 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (81%), IMDB (8.1), Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: death, intense.

Summary: The movie won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2009. Heavy, poignant but great.

Plot: A cellist loses his job. Through a quirk of fate, he takes up the job of performing the last rites for those who just died. It involves cleaning the body, decorating it and placing it a coffin. These rituals are performed with great love and respect for the departed.

While watching the movie, at one point, I imagined that many of the people I know are no more. I was surprised at who popped up in my memory :) At another point, I remembered physical objects that I have kept with myself as memories of people I know. These are some of my attachments.

The movie interweaves multiple threads in the cellist's life: his wife, his friends, his mom who is no more and his dad who abandoned the family many years ago. The ending is beautiful. Highly recommended.


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