Sho, a young teenager that lives by himself in Tokyo, receives a surprise visit from his father. His father is carrying a white box, the he explains to his son, contains the ashes of his Aunt Matsuko. She was recently found murdered by a river in Akawara. His father explains that Aunt Matsuko lived alone and because he has to go back to his hometown, asks Sho to go to his aunt's former apartment and clean up any mess that may be left behind.
Once Sho, arrives at his Aunt's apartment, he discovers that she lived in a filthy old apartment, full of trash bags filled with junk that she has had collected over the years. Sho does not remember ever meeting Matsuko, nor does he know of anything about her past. As he goes through her belongings and speaks with some of her neighbors, he gradually pieces together her life which was filled with tragedy and heartbreak.
Cast & Credits
Let’s start with explaining why did I decide to watch this movie. Well, there are two main reasons: firstly, because Eita is in it and I always wanted to watch something with this guy and secondly, the poster – it intrigued me and reminded me of a movie Amelia; it also fooled me to think this will be a hilarious comedy. So I gave it a try.
Reasons why did I give it a 10:
1. It’s beautifully shot – every scene is like a work of art. Bright colors, intriguing details, breath-taking scenery… Even those moments when it is obvious that there are used some special effects (like the amusement park at the top of the building or prison walls,)they are not cheap like in many other movies I’ve seen, they just deepen the unreality of this world. I’m not an extreme aesthete and I don’t attach particular importance to those things, but in here the beauty of the movie was just overwhelming and couldn’t be overlooked.
2. It has amazing actors – although at first I thought Eita would have a bigger part in this movie, I wasn’t disappointed at all. He did a good job portraying a lost young man with no particular purpose in his life who tries to know more about his aunt he never met. As for our main heroine, Matsuko… well, Nakatani Miki did an awesome job portraying her. Her acting felt so real, that sometimes it was really painful to watch this movie – I was thinking while watching it that this woman was suffering so much, too much for such a fragile person, I could understand her pain and why she was making a mistake after a mistake, and all that thanks to this amazing actress who made this character alive and real.
3. Its story – there wouldn’t be so many praises from me if I didn’t find this story captivating and judging from my score you can guess that I found it as such. This movie showed in a very realistic way the life of Matsuko - from a child who was craving for her father’s attention to a miserable woman who was betrayed by all men she loved and who was sorry for being born. I’m a psychology student, so I’m always looking for reasons for one’s behavior and here I found perfect explanations for Matsuko’s self-destructing ways of acting. It wasn’t like some things were made just to amuse the viewer or just for a sake of making things more dramatic; it was more like a study of a person’s life, a very realistic study may I add. It left me crying many times (and I’m considered to be a cold-blooded person), because it made me see how easy it is to make yourself miserable and feel like there is no way out. And another advantage – even if this movie tells a heavy story, it is not extremely depressing, more like it's emotional and touching. It leaves you with warm feelings and wet eyes.
To sum it all up, I cannot praise this movie enough, I gave it a 10 without hesitation. If you’d like to take a break from overly dramatic, clichéd movies, try this one – I'm sure you won’t regret watching it.
This movie is smart innovate, gave me requiem for a dream feels mixed with momento flashes .
I was hooked after 5 minutes.
The story of a young man who is given a task by his dad to go clean up a dirty apartment of his deceased aunt Matsuko.
We watch the movie through Eita's eyes as he cleans his aunts apartment and discover her true identity.
With great comical scenes and depressive nature of the movie it covers a huge part of Japanese society of what was it and how much changed through the years.
As you see Matsukos braveness through out you start cheering for her even though you already know at the starting of the movie she is dead, this movie covers a lot of themes in Japan from yakuza to AV idols to perfect housewives and many more with on going amazing music scores this is a masterpiece.
I think it's the first time a movie made me laugh and cry in 5 seconds intervals, a true gem is found.
highly recommended it's perfect.
I'm still in shock just wow.