Departures - The Gift of last memories (2008)
The movie “Departures- the gift of last memories” won Academy Award (2008) for Best Foreign Language Film recently. Slum-dog Millionaire, the Academy Award winner for Best Movie, collected lots of hypes and goodwill but, this movie, Departure, is left only to the lists of behind-the-hype movie lovers. Doyle has been a hero in the cinema world but Yojiro Takita, the director of the movie “Departures”, is still an unsung hero for most of the audiences.
I was not that satisfied with the movies nominated for this year’s Academy Award in the Best Movie category. I surfed the internet so that I could find information of some good movies to watch. I found about “Departures” as the winner of Academy Award (2008) for Best Foreign Language Film and bought a DVD of it, for NRS.30, from a shop at Mahabouddha.
It is one of the simplest movies to be added to my list that lists movies like The Bicycle Thief (Vittorio De Sica, 1948), Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004) and few others. The best part of the movie is its very simplicity. It seems simple in its presentation. The lessons to be learned are the ways it has minimized the use of big technologies to make it simple and low budgeted with strong understanding of the meaning of a movie.
Some movies are to spend few hours and regulating joy, laughter or fear. They are over after you watch them. You forget about them. But some movies inspire you to assimilate them for your good being. “Departures” is not over after 2 hours and 10 minutes. It begins inside you after this factor of time. You begin to learn the value of all works available on this earth. You will begin to respect the life, death and relations.
Daigo Kobayashi has to move to the countryside, to the home left to him by his mother, because he can no more support his life at Tokyo. The Orchestra where he used to work as a cellist has just dissolved because of its commercial failure. His wife pretends happily to follow him where he goes. At his home at countryside he goes through an advertisement entitled ‘Departures’ that read the need of an employee with opportunities of lots of journeys. He thinks the organization as a Travel Agency and applies for the job. With zero effort and difficulties he got the job soon to discover it is actually for a “Nokanshi” or “encoffineer”.
With hesitations and difficulties at first, he begins to enjoy his job though people, including his wife, despise it. He takes pride in his job and acts as a gentle gatekeeper for departure to another stage of life. He uncovers the respect for all jobs done with pride and joy. He discovers the meaning of life and profoundly tries to eliminate people’s misconception of a dead body merely as a corpse. This movie deserves 5/5 for the selection of the story and its simplicity of everything.