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 »
When Arthur is shown on the airplane, he has the orchid with him and then again when he arrives home (he is shown setting the potted flower down). An agricultural item such as this would have to go through quarantine and he would never just take it home. See more »
Truth and redemption wrapped in shades of darkness
Finally a movie with a story that has depth and meaning - not just grotty realism or flights of fantasy, no matter how speculative, without a shred of truth.
I really enjoyed the performances as these kind of characters wouldn't be easy to portray, yet they were convincing, engaging - even masterful. Matthew was fantastic in his role. He portrayed a deeply depressed man for most of it, so everything had to be delivered in a lack-lustre, listless manner. However, the high energy, dramatic turns are usually the ones most honoured. I enjoyed the story as although there were shades of darkness there were also glimmers of light and hope and beauty. Guilt can be one of the most negative emotions, stealing hope and joy. But it's as pointless as all the other negatives. I like how the MC found his redemption through helping someone else find the right path. The same can be true for everyone.
The pacing might be a little slow, but the movie had a lot to say and show. Speaking of showing, the cinematography was beautiful. And the music added just the right kind of emotion and tone, sometimes lifting the sombre tone of the story by hinting there is always hope and help if we know where to look.
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