Directed by Yojiro Takita
I had NO idea what a "nakanshi" was when I rented this...hoping to expand my horizons. It seems a little odd expanding would mean renting a movie about death, but hey stranger things could happen, there could actually be a show of a bunch of hoochies trying to seduce one machismo 'roid monster, but how could tv get that low?
A long time ago, I was a massage therapist, MUCH of time I was treated with respect but there was a couple of times where I received a raised eyebrow, the suspicions obvious. What to me was evident such as my lack of fingernails, muscular forearms, sweat popping from my brow and man hands weren't so obvious to others. I'll give you a clue, so you'll know if the massage therapist shows up with long fingernails and dainty pretty hands....they aren't! The real masseuse work creates strength and also man hands. Anyways where was I?
Here in the USA, we generally entrust our loved ones (preferably dead, usually) to a Funeral home, where the preparations for burial or cremation are performed. (Unless your a dead president, dead pope, dead pop star...your beloved fans will be carting your dead butt ALL OVER God's green earth for about a month, much to the chagrin of others who have just sat in a traffic jam as the aforementioned corpse is transported through the 'hood). Apparently in Japan, the deceased are prepared for their journey by a NAKANSHI. When I watched the opening scene, the somberness, the draping of the sheets, the soft and practiced hand over the body reminded me of performing massage....and then it all goes wonky. This movie shifts from sweet, sad, hilarious, happiness to satisfaction easily. Keep your eyes peeled for the octopus in the beginning of the movie, and you'll get the misery of our hero Daigo.
There isn't any gore, no cussing, even in the subtitles, there isn't any nudity, except for one small part but it is only of the wife's tiny tummy. There isn't people professing such deep love that they cannot live without the other, no ridiculous turn of the century romantic notions that we hope our girls never imitate. I know the subject matter doesn't seem like there would be any room for kindness & sweetness but it truly was a entertaining and a sweet movie.
It won best foreign film at the 2009 Academy Awards, but honestly it could've went up against Hollywood and beat them just by substance alone.