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Fantasia 2018 Review: “Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura” (2017) ★★★★★


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There’s something about Japanese cinema that is pure, honest and extremely detailed. Yet is very caring when it comes to storytelling and extremely delicate toward the audience. The screenplay written by Takashi Yamazaki adapted from a Japanese manga by Ryohei Saigan, “Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura” is a film that will melt any heart. It’s about fantasy, imagination, a life that never ends and a love that’s worthwhile of sacrifices we ordinary human beings must make to be happy for eternity.

Masakazu Isshiki and Akiko just got married. After their honeymoon was over, the man brings his young wife to the small city of Kamakura, widely known for its magical power and different pace from any other part of the world. Their happiness, no matter how charming it looked, unfortunately does not last long when on one of the nights Akiko is being stripped by red hand and as a result loses her body having only a ghost left. When Masakazu learns that, he decides to travel to the afterworld to brings his loved one back not realizing that there’s no way out of the place where the dead are expected to remain there until they’re reborn in another life.

“Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura” is an absolutely beautiful and moving film that promotes kindness, generosity and love. Masakuza is a writer who always struggles because of deadlines he needs to meet but always manages to do so because Akiko it seems was meant to be with Masakuza. The way the two look at each other or even talk is magical and touching. For instance, when Masakuza was about to leave home, he asks Akiko to never get into the storeroom. Of course Akiko promises to not disobey her husband’s wish, but does the exact same thing as soon as he leaves, after all, she is a curious person.

Perhaps that was a right decision made by Akiko, as she finds in the same storeroom an unfinished and unpublished manuscript by Itsushiro Kotaki called “Reviving the Dead.” The thing is, Kamakura is a place where all creatures live with humans in harmony. But if it happens that someone dies, they can apply to the Death God Bureau if they want their application to be considered to remain in this life. If that is approved, the Bureau will provide life energy spirit so that all the ghosts can look like humans.

In conclusion, Takashi Yamazaki’s film is a great fantasy piece that effortlessly transports the viewers from the real world to an imagined one filled with love, fantastic creatures and outstanding atmosphere no one would ever want to leave. Its exquisite charm helps the film to live long in the viewer’s mind even after the closing credits get over. Because all what we need is a film that can help us to make ourselves happier, better, feel needed and appreciated the same way this film does; a film made for anyone who admires and loves the film for its best ability – telling the story in a way that you forget anything exists in the whole world, except the world created by Yamazaki, which is truly marvelous.

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