The Parades (2024)

The Parades (2024)

PG-13

netflix

Michihito Fujii reimagines a peaceful, communal afterlife in this slice-of-life supernatural drama

7.2

Movie

Japan
Japanese
Drama
2024
MICHIHITO FUJII
Akari Takaishi, Ayumu Nakajima, Daiken Okudaira
132 min

TLDR

Michihito Fujii, thank you for this comforting image of the afterlife.

What it's about

After a devastating calamity, Minako frantically searches for her missing son, only to realize that she has died. However, she’s not alone, as she discovers a group of other restless spirits, who work together to help resolve each other’s unfinished business.

The take

When it comes to ghosts, plenty of films are centered around personal, unresolved business in the living world, but rarely do films examine how the spirit world would be, unless it’s for fantastical fights or horrific terror. The Parades instead focuses on a world of lost, but ordinary, and thankfully kind, souls. And as the film builds its calm world, Minako (and the viewers) get to meet the people who would form her eventual found family, whose various lives uncover the intimate and personal hopes of ordinary people, shaped by the events of their respective times. While the film doesn’t fully resolve all their stories, The Parades celebrates life, in all forms, and the powerful ways storytelling and community helps us go through it.

What stands out

Great structure. The Parades has an excellent balance between establishing characters and establishing the in-between world, and that’s thanks to the structure. Each scene values one or the other, and in alternating the priorities of each scene, neither the world or its characters feel boring, because the structure ensures that the film doesn’t stay too long in certain subplots.

Comments

I found this film a welcome change from the usual thing that is thrown up to us on Netflix. The characters were well-drawn and quaint. The storyline was imaginative and engrossing.
I found it moving and thought-provoking. It also celebrated life and made one think a bit about how to live life well while we have it. Well-acted.

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