Arthur Brennan treks into Aokigahara, known as The Sea of Trees, a mysterious dense forest at the base of Japan's Mount Fuji where people go to commit suicide. On his journey to the suicide forest, he encounters Takumi Nakamura, a Japanese man who has lost his way after attempting suicide. The two men begin a journey of reflection and survival, which affirms Arthur's will to live and reconnects him to his love for his wife. Written by
The forest scenes were filmed in Purgatory Chasm, a Massachusetts state reservation. Interestingly, while stumbling through the woods, the Ken Watanabe character says to the Matthew McConaughey character, "You are in purgatory". See more »
When Arthur comes home to find Joan asleep on the sofa, the tea kettle starts to whistle. He comments that she could have burned down the house but this is in error as 1) she had only fallen asleep in the time between turning the fire on under the kettle and 2) she awoke to the kettle's whistle. See more »
[Upon discovering a flower as they try to find their way out of the forest at night]
It is said a flower grows when a soul has crossed over from this place.
There's hardly any soil.
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OK, so the critics panned this film as boring and lack luster with some very harsh comments, but my curiosity was sparked by the unusual plot so I gave it a go.
Ten minutes into the film, I was near ready to give up on it and agree with it detractors, as it was very slow moving at the start, however, as the story developed I became interested in the 'why' and committed myself to discover the answers.
Matthew McConaughey offers a very good performance as does Ken Watanabe, both of whom demonstrate their desperation, frustration and hopefulness with convincing commitment. Naomi Watts completes the group of well matched, well directed talent. I found the cinematography to be excellent as well.
I did figure out the plot twist before it was revealed, but the way the director exposed it, I thought, was quite brilliant, and, just when I thought the film was over, we are presented with still another surprise that actually made me smile.
All and all, Sea of Trees delivered as both entertainment and a moral study from which every observer can benefit. I enjoyed it, and, given a chance, I think most views will as well.
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