|A fleeting childhood memory permeates a subconscious world|
of love, loss and ghost-like shadows of a life once lived.
dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Starring: Takeru Sato, Haruka Ayase, Joe Odagiri, Miki Natakani
Review By Greg Klymkiw
Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Pulse, Cure, Charisma) is nothing if not ambitious. His latest film Real is set in a future not too removed from our own in which it's possible to scan the subconscious of those we love who are deep in a coma.
Here, a young couple face their greatest challenge when a wife attempts suicide and her husband is wired to her mind as she lays dead to the living world. Here they are able to communicate in a strange living purgatory of ghosts, shadows and zombie-like replicas of life itself. The couple faces the challenge of solving a mystery which might be able to revive the wife, or at least provide some spiritual solace to her tragic decision. It involves a drawing of a plesiosaur which she gifted to her husband in their childhood and that he's misplaced.
To say more is to upset the delicate intricacies of this haunting and deeply moving tale of love and loss. Kurosawa's deliberate pacing is, as always, infectious and though he's lest interested in evoking terror, he does manage to give us the creeps.
Though the film overstays its welcome whilst watching it, you can't get the damn thing out of your head afterwards. As always, it's the mark of a genuine artist.
THE FILM CORNER RATING: ***½
Real enjoyed its Quebec Premiere at the FantAsia 2014 Film Festival.