Movie review: When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to be Dead

06 Sep 2019 / 10:20 H.

THIS film is hilarious. It is also sweet, and firmly rooted in Japanese sensibilities. However, that doesn’t take away from the film’s drama and its lessons on relationships.

The plot is a serious one that revolves around the importance of understanding between two people in a relationship.

Salaryman Jun (Ken Yasuda) is in his second marriage.

His previous one only lasted for three years, and the third anniversary of his current wedding is fast approaching.

As he makes his way home, he worries more and more. Until he gets home and finds his wife dead.

Well ... pretending to be dead.

As the title of the movie states, every night afterwards, when Jun reaches home, he finds wife Chie (Nana Eikura) pretending to be dead in increasingly elaborate ways.

He tries to stop her, he plays along, he even asks her why. But, he cannot find the reason for Chie’s morbid daily ritual.

Every day at work, Jun confides in his underlings about his wife’s weird habit. He even tries to get Chie a part-time job, but her stunts just get weirder.

If you are not used to standard Japanese family dynamics and exaggerated characters, Chie’s cheerfulness and resourcefulness will come off as painfully cartoonish – as if she is being oppressed.

Jun’s seriousness, on the other hand, can be seen as harsh, although he still participates in her fun scenarios.

But if you look at the movie as a live-action manga – and don’t take it too seriously – you will love it even more.

There is a lot to learn about people and relationships from the movie, and I would like to think I walked away from it knowing more.

When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to Be Dead is an easy and casual watch with some highs and lows, but, ultimately, it is the story that held my attention.

When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to Be Dead is one of the films currently being shown at selected GSC cinemas in the Klang Valley till Sept 11 as part of the Japanese Film Festival 2019.

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