IF CATS DISAPPEARED FROM THE WORLD (2016)
Release Date: 05/14/16 [Japan Exclusive]
Studio: Toho Pictures
"Young mailman finds out he has no time left due to a terminal disease. Suddenly he is approached by a devil that offers him to live more time if he eliminates something from the world. Young mailman then thinks about his relationship with friends, ex-partners, family."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
Based on the novel by Genki Kawamura (producer of Your Name, Weathering With You, and Belle), director Akira Nagai delivers a film that is so beautiful to look at, so emotionally engaging to witness, that I couldn’t help but cry like an empathy-aware baby throughout the whole thing.
The film’s premise alone was what hooked me; a story clearly designed to showcase what makes life beautiful and connected. Phones and clocks are only two of the objects that disappear in this story, and when an object disappears from this world, so does any memory and history attached to it, adding more emotional stakes for our postman with each passing day. Because even though phones and clocks themselves may not be beautiful or fulfilling, it’s the relationships and opportunities that those items provide that can be meaningful.
I especially loved the performances, notably from our lead Takeru Satoh, who give their all to make this story and world immersive and grounded. The score is fantastic as well, being instantly recognizable, iconic, and evoking the right feelings at the right times and emphasizing the melodrama of it all. And the cinematography… the cinematography… An absolute delight that I feel parallels the theme of the story as it makes even the most mundane things in life look beautiful.
If you’re looking for a film that makes you feel something, makes you appreciate life more, or makes you want to ugly cry while calling your parents and telling them how much you appreciate all they’ve done for you, this film gets my highest recommendations. Note that the film is entirely in Japanese with English subtitles, but, as Parasite director Bong Joon-Ho once said, “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films."
And this film is so amazing, it has become my new favorite.