Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
A POETIC ELEGY ON LIFE & DEATH.
on September 22, 2001
This film deserves ten stars not five. Mr. Kore-eda uses natural light, both in nocturnal and diurnal scenes. It is one of the most carefully and beautifully shot films I have ever seen. The lighting and photography in the interior scenes is incomparable and masterful. The scenario is restrained and the acting is absolutely first rate, restrained, understated, powerful -- exactly like the ocean, which functions as one of the symbolic characters in the film. What is the ocean but the unconsciousness of the working mind, the stillness sometimes, the violence sometimes, the tranquility sometimes, the wildness sometimes? In each moment there is a recognition of goodbye, and it may be the final goodbye, it may be the shock of someone leaving and never returning, no matter how much we love them, no matter how much we yearn for them. The loss of someone we treasure. Every element in this film: lighting, cinematography, music, acting, direction, scenario -- all works together as a forceful poem to remind us of the death in life, and the life in death. It is one of the most uplifting and spiritual films I have ever seen, yet it never once preaches about loss and the attempt to restructure a life after such an unendurable loss. There is no religion in this film, it is a film about the spiritual transcendence within ordinary life. This film is an absolutely elegant but deeply felt prayer to affirm the meaning of being alive. Everyone should see this film.