Kishibe No Tabi (Journey to the Shore)
Mizuki (Eri Fukatsu) is a young piano teacher whose dentist husband Yusuke (Tadanobu Asano) died three years ago on a boat. Convinced that he is still around, modest and reserved Mizuki is not flabbergasted when Yusuke suddenly appears in her apartment out of nowhere. Although the man is standing there in flesh and blood, he tells her of his death in the water and invites her on a journey to the beautiful places where he has spent those last years on his way back to her.
Cautious at first, but more and more cheerful, Mizuki travels with him from town to town. Wherever they go, people know and value Yusuke for different reasons: once he helped an old newspaper distributor, deeply regretful about his wife’s death who, caught up in his work routine, hadn’t even realised that he was already dead himself. Another time they are greeted by a gentle couple who own a restaurant and have experienced a loss themselves. Finally arriving in a rural village, where Yusuke had been teaching physics to the uneducated country folks, they help resolve what is unresolved between a farmer, his undead son and his daughter-in-law.
Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s low-key mise-en-scène knows something about light, colours and capturing the beauty of nature, but has no clue about avoiding the overly sentimental both in terms of stiff bits of dialogue and a slushy score. Slowly it is revealed that Yusuke and Mizuki are not only supposed to help others, but have a thing or two to sort out themselves, before the man can finish his crossing over to the other side. Quite frankly, it seems more desirable to feel remorse here and there than to have it all figured out for the price of tuning in to this reassuring, constrained, melodramatic singsong. There were at least seven sleeping journalists counted in the immediate vicinity of this reviewer – who bravely made it to the end – so any other articles about this film may be unreliable for the time being.
Kishibe No Tabi does not yet have a UK release date.
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Watch an extract of Kishibe No Tabi here:
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