Remember that tear-jerking supernatural romantic drama from the ‘90s starring Patrick Swayze that launched Demi Moore into the stratosphere? This is the Japanese remake, faithful right down to that famous and widely-mimicked pottery scene with “Unchained Melody” playing in the background. Except here it’s the wife who’s the ghost.
Given that the basis for the remake has been reported to be more economical than artistic—news agency Reuters states that “studios are increasingly eyeing the potential of local-language productions, particularly in the US$2 billion Japanese market where once-dominant American movies have been outgunned by local films the past three out of four years”—there isn’t much up for discussion here, creative-wise.
What Paramount Pictures has done is to give tried-and-tested movies the Japanese treatment through and through, and if you’re one whose mother tongue is not English, you’ll understand what a simple luxury it is to watch a film without any irritating subtitles to bear with.
The plot, for those born after 2000, is about a newly-married couple whose happiness is torn apart when the wife, Nanami (Nanako Matsushima) is killed in what seems like a botched snatch theft incident. Her spirit lingers on earth when she finds out that her death was not by accident and that her ceramist husband’s (South Korean heartthrob Song Seung Heon) life was in danger. As a spirit, the only way she can warn him is through a psychic, Satsuki Unten (Kiki Kirin).
The beauty and popularity of its two leads are a major pulling factor for this movie, as is the story’s universal appeal of love outlasting life and death.