Category IIB Not suitable for young persons and children.
A very beautiful, sincere, and well directed drama with an excellent cast and a lot of heart that suffers from its long running time.
When dead people start returning to their loved ones in the village of Aso, government official Kawada returns to his hometown in hopes of uncovering the truth, there he reunites with his old flame, Aoi (Yuko Takeuchi, RINGU) who is also mourning the death of her dead boyfriend that is yet to be resurrected.
All over town peoples loved ones are being resurrected and Kawada teams up with Aoi to investigate while trying to keep the phenomenon under wraps from the nation.
Why have the dead been resurrected? and why hasn’t Yuko’s boyfriend come back to life?
With a plot that sounds more like a Zombie movie, people may get confused as to what YOMIGAERI is actually about. The dead are resurrected and return to their old lives but they stay the way they were before they died and lack any form of evil or malice which could confuse people into thinking this is a horror movie. Simply put, YOMIGAERI is much more like FIELD OF DREAMS then say DAWN OF THE DEAD.
Anyway, with that said, this film is a very beautiful drama. Rather then focusing on why the dead have come back to life or why Yuko’s boyfriend is not among the resurrected, it focuses on the characters and what motivates them and how they feel after having their loved ones back or how they feel after returning from the dead.
For example, one old lady has her son return one day after going missing in the woods 60 years ago. Although she has her son back, he is the same age he was when he died however she has aged along with the world. This sets up a dilemma.
Another example is of a school boy who committed suicide because he simply didn’t like life and was bored, now that he has a second chance of life he finds himself feeling the same way he did before he died. That sets up the dilemma of “what good is a second chance of life if you don’t know what to do with it?”
Roughly going for 2 hours, and with such a huge cast, YOMIGAERI was perhaps more suited for a TV mini-series then a long feature film.
Not that the film is boring, but it’s slow moving and is hard to swallow in one sitting (much like THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy).
The acting of the film is excellent and all the characters feel natural and real.
Particularly the main leads work well together and have good onscreen chemistry.
Of course you couldn’t expect anything less then great acting from such an excellent cast including Yuko Takeuchi, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Sho Aikawa and a guest appearance but J-pop star and ex-BATTLE ROYALE psychopath Kou Shibasaki who debuted her singing career with her hit single “Tsuki no Shizuku” in this film under her characters name RUI.
The visuals are very nice also, with slightly lower video quality with minimal gloss to give it a more realistic feel.
The audio is also great with a beautiful score that fits into the film well and of course Kou Shibasaki’s single “Tsuki no Shizuku” which is a very beautiful song and shows of her surprisingly excellent singing voice.
Overall, YOMIGAERI is an absolutely beautiful film with an excellent cast, very real characters the viewer can connect with, a great storyline and an even better acting.
Its only real fault is the much too long running time and the slow pacing.
Check this out if you love films with a lot of heart.
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