Wand‚furu raifu (After Life) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Wand‚furu raifu (After Life) Reviews

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½ May 15, 2016
Simply sublime. Brilliantly subtle details, so beautiful. heart-achingly so, with its quirky & very believably idiosyncratic range of personalities. One of the best films.
November 12, 2015
The first of Koreeda's movies to not really engage me, which it too bad. Interesting premise that never really develops much.
March 20, 2015
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½ January 18, 2015
The movie primarily talks about after life. However, director Hirokazu Koreeda added a twist and that is by asking "What if is there an after life? What if you are only allowed to bring one memory with you, what would it be?"

The movie has a documentary feel as each "guide" is asking the "clients" about the above questions. The guides will try to recreate this moments before the clients' next journey.

The movie is a bit talky but leave it to Koreeda to keep it interesting and get the attention of the viewers.

One of my favorite lines - "It feels good to be a part of someone's memory".
½ March 5, 2014
This is great stuff. When you die you go to this sort of run-down school or other institution building for a week. Here you are interviewed in order to get you to select your single favourite memory which will be the only one you retain when you 'move on'. OK, what would you choose to keep? It is the job of the small team who run this facility (and there are many more of them) to get you to choose the memory in the first three days: the rest of the time is spent making this memory into a film, an ordinary film which is shown in the viewing on the final day. Basic props - cotton-wool clouds, hand scattered petals - are used to make the films.
We follow a group of 20 or so recently deceased of mixed ages through this process. Some of the interviews at the beginning of After Life†were scripted, but most were real responses of real people. The central plot revolves around two of the 'counsellors', Takashi and Shiori and their relationship to each other and the clients. These, we learn, as all the other staff, perform their roles because they were unable to choose the one memory. In life Takashi had been killed in the Second World War and he discovers that one of his clients, old Ichiro, had married his fiancť after his death. This leads Takashi to do some reassessment of what was important in his own life.
This is movie without special effects or action. It's compelling essentially because it examines what ultimately has been the best memory, the best part of one's life. An early and entirely brilliant demonstration of Kore-Eda's mastery of his medium.
December 5, 2013
My Favorite Film Is 1941's Citizen Kane.
½ September 25, 2013
Imagine you've just died. Before entering heaven, you must choose is a single happy memory from your life, that memory will be turned into a film to accompany you in eternity. What's powerful is how watching Afterlife triggers thoughts about your own memories
June 16, 2013
I think the biggest magic of this film is in that interviews and the ways of retelling that great moments. I like when during the shooting of memories the main attention is to the faces of heroes, the most brilliant was the episode of old woman trying to teach little girl a dance. I think the message involved here is to all humanity that life's worth living if you have even just one memory when you were happy, what than will automatically become the concept to which I just fell in love called Evidence of Living. To say truth i was waiting something a bit more , sentimentally emotional to say , but what it turned out to be , was no worse than what i expected, I recommend this outstanding existensial drama to all film lovers and even more , LIFE LOVERS !
½ June 12, 2013
Hirokazu Koreeda's early movie. Although not quite interesting, the movie let everyone rethink his life.
June 1, 2013
Inventive but always authentic. Creative yet candid. It's like Eternal Sunshine directed by Mike Leigh. Beautiful, sad, and hopeful.
½ May 7, 2013
A less sophisticated, different kind of Hollywood turns out to be an ordinary, different kind of Paradise.
April 16, 2013
Few Hollywood movies know much about real life. I would say that even fewer consider the nature of death. A lot of movies about death are more interested in the celestial wallpaper. The afterlife on film is usually a perspective on what Heaven and Hell might look like and those who die are usually more interested in tying up romantic loose ends or returning to unfinished business. Very few films have ever matter-of-factly considered the afterlife from the point of view of the traveler who has crossed the threshold to the undiscovered country.

Hirokazu Koreeda's After Life is almost alone in its contemplation on the importance of the single moment or moments that shape our humanity. In 1999, Koreeda created this absolutely beautiful examination of the stopover between life and death where the choice of a lifetime must be made: What single memory would you carry with you to your eternal reward? The examination is vessled by 22 travelers who, for various reasons, have died and arrive from a white light to a place that is neither here nor there. They are in a way-station between the end of life and their eternal lodgings. The counselors who work here meet and interview several recently dead people each week. The travelers are tasked with choosing one memory from a lifetime that they will carry over into the eternity that awaits them. Once a memory is selected it will be turned into a film and screened before the patron vanishes with the memory, all other memories having been eliminated.

But what memory? What single memory is worth an eternity? Carrying the best memory would be heaven while surely carrying the worst would be hell. To that end the travelers find this a difficult task for various reasons. One man discovers that he has no memory that he wishes to carry on. Another discovers that he has too many. One decides that it was her experience on the Splash Mountain ride at Disneyland.

We meet these people through interviews while the staff works diligently to create the productions for the films that will be screened. We learn very little about the staff who have apparently chosen to spend eternity at the station helping others select a memory. There is a moment when we come close, a connection between one of the patrons and the man who didn't think that he had a memory (of this I will leave you to discover). This moment provides one of the most emotional moments in the film and provides him with a reason for choosing the memory most precious to his heart.

This is the most profound examination of the nature of humanity that I have ever seen on film. There are no special effects, no gimmickry, no scenes that are thrown together to hold our interest. This is a movie that very gently reaches out to those lucky enough to be caught up in it's contemplative spell and to be spellbound by it's message The message is that memory is all we have. No matter what financial or possessive objects we have gained in our lives our memories lie at the core of what makes us intelligent beings. It is the thing that connects our learning, our maturity and shapes our social connection. It is the core of our being, the connection point of our humanity.

On the emotional level, the film works through contemplation, through imagining ourselves as the wayward patrons. The movie sees the selection process as very matter of fact. Koreeada is more interested in the people who have arrived here than in the place to which they have arrived. That spareness allows us to contemplate their process rather than their surroundings.

I saw After Life shortly after it's initial release in 1999 and years later it still resonates in my mind. When I am idle, staring at the ceiling when sleep refuses to settle my mind, I contemplate the question posed by Koreeda's film and to this day I am nowhere near a decision. If I had to choose one memory it might be agony because my number of candidates would go as high as five hundred or if I wrote them down closer to a thousand. For that, I feel fortunate, fortunate and grateful that my life can contain that kind of contentment. If I am given the kind of task given to the people in After Life, it is my hope that whatever I settle on can be turned into a film that is as gentle, peaceful and affirming as Koreeda's beautiful work.
April 6, 2013
Very original concept and beautiful imagery. Only film I've seen that successfully and meaningfully addresses the "meaning" of life.
February 18, 2013
oh kore-eda. how awesome you are. fav documentarish director alongside the dardenne brothers. fav film by kore-eda.
December 7, 2012
Maybe worth a look, intriguing plot...
November 16, 2012
This film is wonderful.
½ September 30, 2012
Great movie. There is something very comforting about the idea that even as you let go, you're left with something of yourself. I also like that you have the option of not choosing.
August 9, 2012
Few Hollywood movies know much about real life. I would say that even fewer consider the nature of death. A lot of movies about death are more interested in the celestial wallpaper. The afterlife on film is usually a perspective on what Heaven and Hell might look like and those who die are usually more interested in tying up romantic loose ends or returning to unfinished business. Very few films have ever matter-of-factly considered the afterlife from the point of view of the traveler who has crossed the threshold to the undiscovered country.

Hirokazu Koreeda's After Life is almost alone in its contemplation on the importance of the single moment or moments that shape our humanity. In 1999, Koreeda created this absolutely beautiful examination of the stopover between life and death where the choice of a lifetime must be made: What single memory would you carry with you to your eternal reward? The examination is vessled by 22 travelers who, for various reasons, have died and arrive from a white light to a place that is neither here nor there. They are in a way-station between the end of life and their eternal lodgings. The counselors who work here meet and interview several recently dead people each week. The travelers are tasked with choosing one memory from a lifetime that they will carry over into the eternity that awaits them. Once a memory is selected it will be turned into a film and screened before the patron vanishes with the memory, all other memories having been eliminated.

But what memory? What single memory is worth an eternity? Carrying the best memory would be heaven while surely carrying the worst would be hell. To that end the travelers find this a difficult task for various reasons. One man discovers that he has no memory that he wishes to carry on. Another discovers that he has too many. One decides that it was her experience on the Splash Mountain ride at Disneyland.

We meet these people through interviews while the staff works diligently to create the productions for the films that will be screened. We learn very little about the staff who have apparently chosen to spend eternity at the station helping others select a memory. There is a moment when we come close, a connection between one of the patrons and the man who didn't think that he had a memory (of this I will leave you to discover). This moment provides one of the most emotional moments in the film and provides him with a reason for choosing the memory most precious to his heart.

This is the most profound examination of the nature of humanity that I have ever seen on film. There are no special effects, no gimmickry, no scenes that are thrown together to hold our interest. This is a movie that very gently reaches out to those lucky enough to be caught up in it's contemplative spell and to be spellbound by it's message The message is that memory is all we have. No matter what financial or possessive objects we have gained in our lives our memories lie at the core of what makes us intelligent beings. It is the thing that connects our learning, our maturity and shapes our social connection. It is the core of our being, the connection point of our humanity.

On the emotional level, the film works through contemplation, through imagining ourselves as the wayward patrons. The movie sees the selection process as very matter of fact. Koreeada is more interested in the people who have arrived here than in the place to which they have arrived. That spareness allows us to contemplate their process rather than their surroundings.

I saw After Life shortly after it's initial release in 1999 and years later it still resonates in my mind. When I am idle, staring at the ceiling when sleep refuses to settle my mind, I contemplate the question posed by Koreeda's film and to this day I am nowhere near a decision. If I had to choose one memory it might be agony because my number of candidates would go as high as five hundred or if I wrote them down closer to a thousand. For that, I feel fortunate, fortunate and grateful that my life can contain that kind of contentment. If I am given the kind of task given to the people in After Life, it is my hope that whatever I settle on can be turned into a film that is as gentle, peaceful and affirming as Koreeda's beautiful work.
½ July 29, 2012
Deeply moving, ultimately uplifting film about the meaning of happiness, without falling once into saccharine cheapness and melodrama.
July 22, 2012
I understand the message the director is conveying, but the movie is rather tedious and I just couldn't get into it (especially the "heaven's workers" using cheap props to film the memories... perhaps this was intended as a joke but it made me cringe). I liked the concept of having to choose your best memory, just not the movie itself.
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