Directed by Shun Matsuoka / Reviewed by Riya Saha
Shun Matsuoka has directed a unique movie with an interesting storyline, which embarks upon the old tradition of “FUNERAL MARRIAGES”. Have you ever thought of marrying a dead body? Of course not, never in our wildest dreams! But this is an old tradition that has been taking place in the remote areas of Asia. The movie is filled with twist, unusual ideas, with mess with your mind while watching the movie you surely experience some level of eerie and level of surrealism.
In the words of the director:
“Since a long time ago, FUNERAL MARRIAGES have been existing in the spread of Asia. Bereaved families believe that if their children die at young age & unmarried, they shall be reborn as devils, so they arrange their dead children to marry people alive for consoling their spirits…This movie is based on the weird custom and describes the strong love beyond death.”
THE FUNERAL MARRIAGE is overall an unusual experience of and probably it gave me a feeling that everything details of the movie were executed was extreme finesse. Doubtlessly, though, the director’s desire to give audiences something truly bizarre and new has already proven successful is the larger force at hand here.
Mayuko Akaike has the sixth sense to see ghosts wandering in this life. But she can get along with dead people more than living people for her developmental disorder. And she kept it secret for avoiding mocks from others more.
On the other hand, her dearest husband Ren Akaike who is the poor movie director was mired in huge debt from the mafia for making his movie. Finally, he was almost killed by the mafia for delayed repayment. He begged their mercy for his life, then they promised to wait for his repayment in exchange for his picking up a red envelope from the street every day. He was baffled by their strange proposal. However, he had no choice but to pick it up and found a woman picture and hair in it.
From that time, Mayuko started to see the woman ghost who is her head on back to the front behind Ren. Furthermore, it increased one by one every day. And Ren started to lose his vitality little by little. She couldn’t get the reason and felt anxious.
Finally, Ren decided to run with Mayuko, but he was kidnapped by the mafia. Mayuko tried to rescue him, but he was killed and buried to complete for funeral Marriage system. A month later, Ren’s movie had a big hit and Mayuko got big money, she paid mafia to do the funeral marriage with Ren Forever. When she backed home, Ren was waiting for her in his head on back to front. She smiled happily. “Hi! Ren-san I’m home.”
Either way, it’s exciting to see them step off the beaten path, and I pay tribute to the brave hearts that played the roles so well. THE FUNERAL MARRIAGE by Shun Matsuoka is sure showcases the perseverance of love. Though the whole ritual is something very awkward the love between the two characters of the film helps us deal with pain and also the universal human dilemma of how to deal with bereavement. This movie has successfully lived up to the expectations.