Arthur Brennan treks into Aokigahara, known as The Sea of Trees, a mysterious dense forest at the base of Japan's Mount Fuji where people go to commit suicide. On his journey to the suicide forest, he encounters Takumi Nakamura, a Japanese man who has lost his way after attempting suicide. The two men begin a journey of reflection and survival, which affirms Arthur's will to live and reconnects him to his love for his wife. Written by
The forest scenes were filmed in Purgatory Chasm, a Massachusetts state reservation. Interestingly, while stumbling through the woods, the Ken Watanabe character says to the Matthew McConaughey character, "You are in purgatory". See more »
[Upon discovering a flower as they try to find their way out of the forest at night]
It is said a flower grows when a soul has crossed over from this place.
There's hardly any soil.
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OK, so the critics panned this film as boring and lack luster with some very harsh comments, but my curiosity was sparked by the unusual plot so I gave it a go.
Ten minutes into the film, I was near ready to give up on it and agree with it detractors, as it was very slow moving at the start, however, as the story developed I became interested in the 'why' and committed myself to discover the answers.
Matthew McConaughey offers a very good performance as does Ken Watanabe, both of whom demonstrate their desperation, frustration and hopefulness with convincing commitment. Naomi Watts completes the group of well matched, well directed talent. I found the cinematography to be excellent as well.
I did figure out the plot twist before it was revealed, but the way the director exposed it, I thought, was quite brilliant, and, just when I thought the film was over, we are presented with still another surprise that actually made me smile.
All and all, Sea of Trees delivered as both entertainment and a moral study from which every observer can benefit. I enjoyed it, and, given a chance, I think most views will as well.
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