Thursday, 17 September 2015

Greatful Dead (4½ Stars)

Nami grows up in a rich family. The problem is that her parents ignore her. Her mother's main interest is feeding the world's starving people. One day she leaves on a charity mission to the third world and she never comes back. Nami's father finds a lover in her absence. Her father and the lover spend all their time locked in a room reading the Bible and praying. Nami's sister, her only companion, runs away from home, leaving Nami totally alone. She finds comfort in ordering items from the television shopping channels, luxury items that she doesn't even unpack.

Nami's father dies when she's 18, leaving her a sizeable fortune. She has no need to work, so she spends her days spying on other people. Using binoculars and telescopes she searches for others who are as lonely as she is. She calls them "solitarians". She keeps a diary of what her fellow solitarians do every day.

Her favourite solitarian is a rich old man that she sees buying pornographic DVDs. She enjoys watching him so much that she rents an apartment overlooking his house. Things go well until he's visited by volunteers from a local church. They visit him regularly to read the Bible with him. It horrifies Nami that he's no longer lonely, so she resorts to extreme measures to get him back all for herself.

This is an amazing film directed by Eiji Uchida, a director that I had never previously heard of. Based on its quality I want to see more of his films. It's a simple story, and nothing in the peaceful first half prepares the viewer for the events that happen in the second half.

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