A 30-year-old postman learns that he doesn't have much time left to live due to a terminal illness. He is plagued by a constant headache, visits a doctor and is told that he has a brain tumour. A devil then appears in front of him and offers to extend his life if he picks something in the world that will disappear from his life. The man thinks about his relationships with ex-friends, ex-lovers, relatives and colleagues who will be sincerely sad when he dies. As the phone disappears; so does the memory of his girlfriend, with the movie; his friend, the watch; his father... In this fantasy human drama, a man struggles with the conflict of erasing his own existence, or his love, friends and family.
Cast & Credits
Sekai kara Neko ga Kieta nara is one of those films that you anticipate to hit theatres for months and goes beyond all of your possible expectations. I have been waiting for this film since December, the last time I was at the theatre, and I have waited excitedly since then. For those that are not aware, this is actually a novel adaptation, and while I cannot attest to the accuracy of the adaptation I would argue that as a stand alone this movie is basically flawless. Yet again, I chose to see a movie that was very heavily marketed in both music stores and the clothing store in which the film had a partnership, and it should not defer anyone from watching the film.
As the synopsis suggests, this film is about a postman that discovers he will die very quickly of a terminal illness. He meets a devil of sorts when he arrives home and the story goes on from there. It's about love, family, friends, and about facing your own mortality. The way that the film was produced is beautiful and leaves a personal impression on those watching the film. You could not ask for a better execution of such a serious and dark story line. If you want a good cry, this movie is a must watch. I cried the whole movie and continued to do so through the whole credits and after the theatre lights turned back on.
The cast for the film was also excellent. Again, because I haven't read the novel I am not sure how well they match the description or vision of the author, but in my opinion they all did an excellent job. Being a fan of Sato Takeru, I was really excited to see how he would do in such a serious role. In a way the role is kind of reminiscent of The Liar and her Lover, though in that film his character is much less expressive. A few years ago Sato Takeru was the handsome young actor acting in manga adaptations, while he still does that it is wonderful to see his talent through other means; he does very well with a wide variety of story types and he always impresses me with his versatility. I didn't know the other actors but they were all excellent. With this kind of subject matter I am always very wary of Japanese films and how they will portray such raw emotion but I was not disappointed in the least. They were all so lovely and I look forward to seeing what other works they were in.
Music for Sekaneko was produced by Sony. The main song of the movie, also used in the trailer, is sung by a new 17 year old artist that goes by the name HARUHI. The song is dark and sad and mysterious sounding which I think is perfect for the film. The song also manages to carry a hopeful note which is also important to the story. It's a beautiful song and matched the film perfectly. Other songs from her debut release are also used in the movie with their instrumental versions. They are also the type of song that makes your heart quiver and only aids you in crying along with the characters.
As with my previous review, 9.5/10 on rewatch value is purely out of fear of ruining the original feelings that I could experience while watching the movie. It's absolutely a must watch for anyone with any interest in the sad, Sato Takeru, or contemplation of life and relationships. I now plan on moving to the novel after I have studied kanji a bit more so that I can see the story in it's original form. After DVD release or if you have a chance to see it in Japan, please enjoy!