“Departures” is an Academy Award winner in the Foreign Film category. A japanese production, it showcases Daigo, the main character, a cello player having lost his job in an orchestra in tokyo after being dissolved due to low popularity ratings. Wanting to return to his hometown, and start anew, he seeks out to find a stable job. He stumbled upon an ad, recruiting people in “assisting departures” in NK Agency. Little did he know that it was actually an agency in assisting the “departed” or the dead. With no career prospects anywhere else, and good pay, he had little choice except to take the offer.
This is truly one of the few foreign films that im my opinion truly deserves an oscar. While the film is lengthy, clocking at almost 2 and half hours and have very slow moments, its the subject matter and the way its been handled with a different perspective that deserves the attention of the oscars. This movie touches heavily on death and the departed and i love the movie in introducing to us the very heart and often tabbo aspects of Japanese culture. Death as it seems to be a very touchy subject, however in this movie, you will see a different perspective about death and you will soon realize just how beautiful death can be. Death as a means of passage is heavily emphasized here, and also the fragility of life and the importance of celebrating and treasuring life that most of us take for granted.
Those who are in the mood to watch artsy movies, should give this movie a try. Its not all sorrow and sadness in this movie. It has healthy doses of humour in places where you will never expect to see when dealing with the death of a person.