Film Review: Meaning of Life (2020) by Ryo Katayama

Persevering with his appearing/directing profession, “Roar”’s director appeared in an episode of “The Bare Director” but additionally managed to shoot two extra movies, the mid-length “Which means of Life” and the function “ICCHORAI” which is able to display screen in Japan later this 12 months. This assessment focuses on the previous. 

“Which means of Life” assessment is a part of the Submit Your Movie Initiative

Shibata is a real-estate agent, who, beneath his calm and composed demeanor, is hiding various suppressed emotions, principally deriving from the truth that he needed to abandon his true calling on images so as to earn more money and deal with his sick father. Not in a position to deal with the stress, often he sleeps by himself in flats he’s supposed to indicate to his prospects. When a feminine colleague who appears eager about him begins snooping round, and a previous acquaintance reappears, Shibata has to face actuality and keep away from crumbling. 

Ryo Katayama directs a movie that focuses on the idea of aged care, one which appears to be notably dominant in Japanese indie cinema not too long ago. Nevertheless, primarily this facet features as a base for a sequence of different feedback, relating to loneliness and the incapacity to attach, and the methods folks can “combat” all three by opening as much as others. In that style, the truth that Shibata has to succeed in a fairly low depth in his psychological standing, as we see him breaking down repeatedly by his interactions along with his colleague and his outdated buddy, additionally presents a remark about change, and that individuals can really really feel higher in the event that they acknowledge the hardships their life brings them and adapt to them, as an alternative of attempting to cover them, even from themselves. As such, and regardless of the fairly “darkish” premises, “Which means of Life” ultimately presents an optimistic message of hope. 

As the main target of the film is fairly intent on the protagonist, Katayama’s personal efficiency within the function emerges as essential. In that regard, it must be stated that he’s fairly good within the calm moments, however goes a bit overboard within the dramatic ones, additionally as a result of they take such a big a part of the 56-minutes movie, to the purpose that it turns into unnecessarily melodramatic every so often. This facet considerably faults the general high quality of the movie, however not to a degree to wreck the general sense it leaves, which is unquestionably above common. 

Among the many finest elements of the film is the cinematography, with DPs Yuji Fukaya and Ryo Anraku presenting various inside pictures that completely match Shibata’s psychological standing, with the introductory one and the ultimate one being the highlights. On the identical time, the scenes on the terrace of the workplace are fairly stunning, additionally offering a aid from the general “claustrophobic” visuals

“Which means of Life” is an fascinating film, which might have been a lot better, although, if it was much less hyperbolic and melodramatic. 



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