When it comes to movies, I’m a fan of quirky, colourful and zany editing.Think of movies like Amelie and Shimotsuma Monogatari. I had heard that Memories of Matsuko would be a movie that would tick all the boxes so I randomly rented it! Little did I know that it would be more than just a pretty movie to watch!
The story begins with Matsuko’s nephew Sho (Eita), an unemployed bum in all senses of the word, leading an un-extraordinary meaningless life of getting drunk and watching porn. With nothing to do all day, his father sets him a task to clean out an apartment of his recently deceased Aunt.
It was news to Sho that he even had an Aunt! But why had he never heard of her before? Whilst sifting through her belongings, Sho slowly uncovers the various stories from Matsuko’s colourful yet tragic past…
I honestly do not even know where to start with this review! I’ve never seen a movie where it successfully intertwines such a tragic and bleak story with a strong and chirpy visual style.
Did I mention it is a musical? By all rights, these songs should feel highly inappropriate for the situations that Matsuko faces, but somehow it really works. I didn’t even realise it was a musical, the songs seem to blend in seamlessly and were not distracting in a way that I often find with musicals.
I left watching this movie thinking how strangely close to real life this movie could be for many people out there. How many people are chasing their dreams and never reaching them? How many people are giving out all the love they can give but end up in abusive and cruel relationships; shutting themselves away from the world and suffering from loneliness. There are also so many people who cling to a hope of happiness but no matter what life hands them, for whatever reason, it just never gets better. The movie actually made me feel good about my own life! It’s not perfect but compared to Matsuko, my life is sweet!
So yes, the film does not have an extremely positive outlook but don’t let that put you off! You’ll be gripped from start to finish as you follow Matsuko’s childhood through to her adult life, her troubled relationships with men and the many incidents that led her into a downward spiral.
If I’m not quite selling the movie to you – it has a kind of ‘happy’ ending. I definitely do not want you to miss out on the Memories of Matsuko! Please watch!
Don’t wait anymore! WATCH THE MOVIE!