Friday, October 3, 2008

Accuracy of Death

I stepped into the cinema hall knowing nothing more than Takeshi Kaneshiro played the role of Death in this movie.
The movie opened with Kaneshiro attending a church funeral. He sat himself next to a cute little girl who immediately recognised that he is a shinigami, often refered to as the God of Death or in this case, the Grimm Reaper. When asked about a shinigami's role, Kaneshiro gently explained that a shinigami appears to people about to face an unexpected death. After determining if that person has fulfilled his purpose on earth, the shinigami will choose to either proceed with his death or suspend it. However, a shinigami will only attend a child's funeral as a courtesy since most children are usually not aware of what is really happening. Thus revealed, not really unexpectedly, that the little girl speaking to Kaneshiro is the deceased everyone in the church is mourning.

And with that introduction, the movie begins the first of three stories that make up the film. Kaneshiro's character uses the name "Chiba" when he is on the field. He would usually makes contact and interview "prospects" on their opinion on death and determine himself if the person has yet a purpose to be served by continuing living. Even though his dog companion revealed that Chiba usually choose to proceed, he tends to hold his decision till the last day, which was fortunate for one prospect, whose new purpose in lives was revealed only on the day she was meant to die.

Unsurprisingly, all three stories are connected to each other but it was done in quite an unspectacular way. With a title like "Accuracy of Death", I was actually expecting a slow but highly thought provoking notion on why death is necessary and important to the point that it can affect the course of history. The movie was slow but it was hardly thought provoking. In fact, the charm of the movie lies in its humour. The bulk of the humour however, lies in Chiba's taking in the literal meaning of the words people said, being totally clueless about the slang we used. This incited plenty of laughter but it didn't make sense since he is in constant communication with humans. Beside, one other shinigami who spoke with him didn't seems to have that problem. There is also an inconsistency in the second story when he is more suave and street smart and he even smoked. Maybe he picked it up over the years but in the last story, he is back to his old 'dumb' self.

The movie lack the sophistication I was expecting and the humour was nothing brilliant. Its comic timing however was good enough to draw plenty of laughs. The contents may failed to meet my expectation but I can't say I didn't enjoy the movie. After all, why so serious?

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