Kiyoshi Kurosawa is, to me, one of the uncrackables, both too mysterious and illusive to grasp intention and too vague and liquid to attach myself to.The first time I saw this "Kishibe No Tabi" in April 2016, I deleted my review out of frustrating indecisiveness. Through mysterious ways it found itself back into my life (I had blindly purchased a ticket to a film by the other Kurosawa - or so I thought), thankfully.▽
Quiconque connaît tant soit peu l'univers fantasmagorique et tourmenté des réalisations de Kiyoshi Kurosawa, dans lesquelles les revenants et les macchabées sont légions, ne sera pas dépaysé par la structure et les composantes scénaristes du film, mais certainement étonné de l'atmosphère apaisée qui se dégage cette fois-ci, dans une sorte d'harmonie entre deux mondes. www.cinefiches.com
Kiyoshi makes films that look relatively straightforward on paper. Maybe, yes, a little odd. But some of his movies are not only odd but odd in the way that they are odd. It's a mixture of tone and choices. Odd tone. Odd choices. I like this movie very much. It is simpering and delicate and gossamer. I like that it is odd in the way that it is odd. You can't quite put yr finger on it. A narcotic, somnolent quality.
This film really did not work for me on any level. Kurosawa's direction (especially his handling of the actors) is so disconnected from the story, the scenes that are supposed to be big and powerful lack any kind of sizzle whatsoever. Furthermore, any interesting concepts the film presents about ghost and the afterlife are seldom explored beyond one or two scenes, if not merely given a few throwaway lines.
When on 97, in a theater at Brussels, i discovered this filmmaker with the amazing "Cure", i couldn't guess that years later he would become a sort of filmmaker of "elevator images" (equivalent to the so-called "elevator music"), an ersatz well behaved of a lethargic succession of trivialities about life and death based on the fantastic, through an ornamental-lounge derivation (as Clint Eastwood's "Hereafter").
Simultaneously too direct and too opaque. Still, it manages to create some enchanting sequences filled with modestly bombastic emotion, and it's realized with beautiful cinematography and masterfully precise set design. The film, as a whole, has the potential for greatness but, unfortunately, it never gets there. Fukatsu is as confusing as she is delicately heartbreaking.