The Heaven is this film is a place where those who died before the age of 100 go to "live out" the rest of their time; if they lived over 100 on Earth, then they're automatically reincarnated, otherwise, they wait it out.
In Heaven there truly are no dogs, there are also no handicapped, despite the fact that those who die go to Heaven with the appearance they held at the time of their death.
But this is just me nit-picking.
The story here is all about human development and healing - a fine story then, if we only get 100 years to find true inner-peace and happiness before our slates are wiped clean and we're born again.
Forget religious propaganda - lots of different beliefs are borrowed from to create the "Heaven" in this film. Try to forget also the half-witted acting of Natsuko's step-brother, whom I'm still at odds about as to whether he was supposed to be retarded or was truly just that bad.
Forget everything and just watch with an open mind and slowly - it may take an uneasy first 50 minutes, but - slowly, your heart will open as well.
I could drone on about metaphors of love and fireworks, of heart-break and piano symphonies, as I could also reveal more of the plot... but I won't.
I walked into this one knowing precious little and it was the best way: let the tale move you as it unfolds.
If our souls are cleansed of all memories before we are reborn then love cannot ever be eternal; it can, however, be the most important aspect of our lives.
A moving, enjoyable and up-lifting film which is marred by a slightly dull first 45 minutes and a bit of bad acting and dialogue. All of which is meaningless come that final shot as you realise that even though you may have used a whole packet of tissues, life is to be lived.
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