This film is probably one of the most seductive films you will ever see providing that you are a person who actually prefers to be emotionally taxed at the cinema rather than simply wooed with special effects and large explosions.
The story is about a husband whose wife and daughter are both involved in a coach accident on the way back from a skiing trip. However, in the hospital as the mother and daughter lay side by side in the emergency ward, a last dying wish by the mother to hold her daughter's hand is to throw the husband's life into turmoil; the personality of the mother being transferred to their daughter's body moments before she dies due to some mysterious power in the wedding ring she is wearing.
From that moment, the story is sensitive and delicate, it's meandering pace worked so masterfully that you barely notice the 2 hours or so rapidly slipping by delivering situation after anxious situation, such as the husband's turmoil of wanting to satisfy his wife's emotional and sexual needs but being unable to violate the boundaries presented in his daughter's physical appearance. Along the way, as the daughter's personality appears to be coming back, the wife's personality ebbs away and many poignant moments are created as the husband has to deal with the possibility that his wife is finally going to leave him.
Since "Ghost" first came out all those years ago, there have been countless re-workings in different languages of what was, undoubtedly, one of the most original stories of it's time - a story of a loved one coming back and living in a mysterious temporal space between life and death, giving the widowed spouse one final opportunity of companionship. Only last year a Korean version was released with the title "I Introduce to You My Girlfriend" (title translated from Japanese release).
However, the art of film-making is always in the execution, and that is why Japanse film making is never to be underestimated when it comes to getting to the crux of what makes human emotions tick. Unlike the dreary and shallow Hollywood efforts, this is a masterpiece and the ending is a true shocker; gently delivered and seriously potent. It left me frustrated with my mind in pieces, not because the film was sub-standard in any way, but because I felt so much for the situations of the characters involved. Great films have the power to emotionally absorb their audience and this is definitely one of those films.
I have not seen the English translation of this film as I watch all of my Japanese movies in Japanese with no subtitles. This allows me to see and appreciate the film with all the inflections and nuances that the writers and film makers intended. I hope that the subtitling on this film does it justice, otherwise it could very easily ruin what is a masterful piece of film making.
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