a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Mourning Recipe / Shijuukunichi no Reshipi / 四十九日のレシピ

with one comment

news_large_49recipe_keyIn Mourning Recipe, director Yuki Tanaka takes what in most Japanese directors would turn into a mess of sentimental tripe and turns it into a nuanced study of family relationships as they cope with loss, mourning and the twists that life takes. The story begins with Ryohei (Renji Ishibashi) very recently widowed and in the throes of depression. An impossibly kawaii young woman, Imo (Fumi Nikaido), comes to take care of him, bearing a manual of cooking and taking care of the household, lovingly illustrated and written by his dead wife. All of this is in preparation for the Buddhist 49th day commemoration for the deceased. In the meantime, Ryohei’s daughter, Yurkiko (Hiromi Nagasaku), in the middle of a bad breakup with her husband comes home to commiserate with dad. The preparations for a non-traditional memorial become the playing field for family traumas, grief and healing to come to the fore. The “happy ending” that comes is well earned. Tanaka turns what could have been a total cliché into a heartfelt celebration of life.

Originally published in EL Magazine, November 2013.


Written by Nicholas Vroman

October 31, 2013 at 1:53 am

One Response

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  1. i think I’ll watch this film!


    October 31, 2013 at 2:40 pm

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