Friday, January 30, 2009

Okuribito

I haven't heard of this movie but after watching it on the plane, it instantly became one of my favorites. The movie, Okuribito (Departures)

Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki) is a devoted cellist in an orchestra that has just been dissolved and now finds himself without a job. Daigo decides to move back to his old hometown with his wife to look for work and start over. He answers a classified ad entitled "Departures" thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agency only to discover that the job is actually for a "Nokanshi" or "encoffineer," a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life. While his wife and others despise the job, Daigo takes a certain pride in his work and begins to perfect the art of "Nokanshi," acting as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the family of the departed. The film follows his profound and sometimes comical journey with death as he uncovers the wonder, joy and meaning of life and living.


I liked how the way the movie unfolded, its simple, straightforward and the soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful. The oriental landscape and mood were captured perfectly on this movie. Or maybe I am just biased to films that have death as subject. Come to think of it, sometimes, we don't know what's really in store for us. We kept on searching on about our purpose in life, aiming for satisfaction and contentment but later on, we realized that 'it's' already our purpose and we are serving it already. Just like Daigo, at first, he was not comfortable with his new job but eventually he realized that the job was really for him. He continued his work despite his family and friends' opposition.

I may have loads of disappointments and frustrations but I don't think I regretted these failures. Or the reasons that caused these heartbreaks. In one way or another, it taught me to become a stronger person. Clichéd as it may sound but its true. As they say, there's no room for regrets.

Okuribito is an eye-opener. It gives you a closer look towards death. How to deal with it and how to 'work' with it. We may never know when we are going to die, and who will 'fix' us when the time come. The movie can give you an idea or too.

Our life will eventually end. That's a fact. Slowly, or in an unmeasured and unnoticed pace, we are about to halt. We should be ready to face death when its knocking. Well, to be honest, I am not yet ready as I think I still have lots of things to do for my family yet. Slowly, we will be saying goodbye. That's definite.

weep

The Price of Tears

For five twilights
the paper lantern shivers
awaiting the first note
the crying ladies will deliver.

Veiled and clothed in white,
they take up the front pew.
Doors slide open for public viewing.
Incense fills the room.

Sans musical accompaniment
showcase of tonsils begins ---
white handkerchiefs act
as microphones. Wails and moans
collide on air, push the soul
of their patron nearer to heaven.

Until the funeral
of their client --- a fellow mourner,
every tear squeezed out from their eyes

still
costs a cent.

/totomai

PS

inspired by the movie Crying Ladies


Death equates to a permanent goodbye, slowly and unhurriedly. Don't worry about how many people will mourn or cry during your wake and funeral. You can't witness nor hear it anyway. Just have a good sleep, a deep slumber. And don't forget to leave a smile on your face for them to remember.

After all, our life is like a dream within a dream.

/totomai
01/31/09

PS

Hoping Okuribito will bag the Oscar's for Best Foreign Film.

30 comments:

  1. "then death is but a slumber,
    sweet rest when all is done..."

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  2. Life is like a dream sometimes, sometimes like a movie. Sometimes we're the audience, sometimes in the cast. When it's over, do we wake up?

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  3. @tukayo, nice words..

    @stan, maybe yes, maybe no.

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  4. great post totomai! i like how you weave a movie review with the sunday scribblings. this sounds like a movie i'd like to watch.

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  5. @floreta, yes, its a very good movie. i recommend it to everyone to see

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  6. Excellent post! I'll try to find the movie - you make it sound like one to see, for sure.

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  7. Thanks TW, you should see it if you have a chance.

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  8. "and Wails and moans
    collide on air, push the soul
    of their patron nearer to heaven"...

    could this really be the purpose of the crying at funerals? I've often wondered...

    ps. I wanted to tell you that the small, yellow type is quite difficult for me to read.

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  9. ...indeed! Sometimes death can be a person`s best friend as we end this journey.
    I would like to see the movie you spoke of in this posting.

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  10. @will, yeah. i think so thats the purpose. but im not sure either.

    okay, noted.

    @maggie, oh yes, death can be one's friend. please watch the movie if you have time

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  11. This image of waiting is perfect:

    For five twilights
    the paper lantern shivers
    awaiting the first note
    the crying ladies will deliver.

    The thought of the mourners' cries chills my bones, makes me feel the loneliness of the moment.

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  12. @sandy, i agree with you. its scary to witness and be a mourner actually. thanks for reading

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  13. Thanks I have just added "Departures" to my Netflix queue.

    If only death was even sometimes so clockwork as your excellent word-cinema. The flash-bulb reality of the accident, the stop and go pointless ride with the fog lit up with blue flashes, and the petty squabbling of the family weave a cold basket around my heart.

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  14. Nicely written poetry, it make me want to go to see the film too...

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  15. thanks KH, if you have time please watch the film...

    @STG, thanks too

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  16. I am going to have to take the time to see this movie ... I believe death is our friend.

    "After all, our life is like a dream within a dream."

    How true.

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  17. Thanks for the review and the lovely poem. Nice to see you at One Single Impression

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  18. I lke how you wove all these elements into a lovely post!

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  19. hi totomai--

    it seems life IS a dream (maybe not like a dream) within a larger dream, the dream of the Turtle...

    thanks for the steer towards the movie. will put it on the list.

    cheers and many thanks!

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  20. I love this last line: " our life is like a dream within a dream"

    teka lang, parang ikalawang blog na to na nabasa kong may tema ng kamatayan hahaha. lately kasi, paranoid ako sa term na to hahaha..

    anyways, dito ko nilagay ang kwento ko tungkol diyan:

    http://roneilberania.blogspot.com/2009/02/in-memoriam.html

    nasa comment niyan. hahaha. pinaghanap ka pa eh no?

    http://fjordz-hiraya.blogspot.com

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  21. @Deborah and BEth. thanks for reading

    @fjordz, haha, madami dami na akong entry about death. sige hanapin ko yan mamaya. pasok muna sa opis

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  22. super nose bleed! sa kaiiiyak! he he. is this still the effect of winter?

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  23. @atty, dont worry patapos na winter hehe

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  24. It's a lovely poem, so evocative, both serene and poignant.

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  25. Wow..I'm curious, this looks interesting with some humor. Your poem/picture- bravo!
    "we realized that its already our purpose..serving it already"- I like your take.

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  26. I added this movie to my mail movie list. Excellent poem that hits home.

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  27. @tammy, hope you will enjoy the film

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any thoughts to distill?

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