Mizukis has been missing her much loved husband Yusuke after he drowned 3 years ago. The loss has left her empty and this is not to be unexpected as they were close and very much in love. However when he returns to her back from the dead, it is a suprise beyond her dreams. He is back in order to spend more time with her but questions are all she has and his answers are something utterly outside of the normal. They both must embark on a journey to find answers to these questions and the resolution of boths lost lives.
Kurosawas previous film Tokoyo Sonata (winner of the Prix du jury @ Cannes no less) resonanted with me. It made me feel and made me reflect on the emotional currency of a world dependant on commerce and capital.People where assets in a land that way cluttered and confusing, contorted into shapes that were not defining them but were instead destroying them. He used a gentle eye, keen ear and clever wit to relay this…
Journey to the Shore is less radical in many respects than Tokyo Sonata. It is another winner of an award at Cannes (Prix de la mise-en-scene) but where as the former looked on at the complexity of person and the system, this looks at what remains after loss and the supernatural in Japansociety. It is deeply intellegent discourse on these topics and comes at it from the perspective of love and societal engrained belief. I loved how Kurosawa opens up the space between loss and loneliness and reveals some very universal truths about the desire to say goodbye. To see that person once more and what is really lost with loss.
The problem I had was that it begins to meander and get stuck on its central theme. Developing on something that is so personal and rich is easy to get wrong. Easy to get stuck on convention but instead Kurosawa gets stuck on detail and drawing out this in fine shaping. I will say that the film however is very rewarding to watch but pole opposite to the (far more interesting and far better) Tokyo Sonata. Now to the discs and the transfer is great and this is expected, the lack of additional features is not suprising but makes me feel a little cheated and the notes can be taken two ways. By a film nut like me they are a mine of information but for a film watcher who cares less about theory and the such, a waste of time.
- Stunning 1080p transfer of the film in its original aspect ratio
- Optional English subtitles
- Stereo and 5.1 soundtrack options (uncompressed on the Blu-ray)
- Theatrical trailer
- 24-page booklet containing a statement from Kurosawa on the film, production images and a new essay by Anton Bitel