Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit (Japanese Movie 2008)

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Synopsis:

A place, somewhere, that bears a strong resemblance in history and environment to Japan. Its return to prosperity after defeat in war is due to a certain law, a pillar of the state. This is the Special Law for the Maintenance of National Prosperity. 24 hours before this capsule is to bring about death, an official of the Ministry of Health and Welfare brings a letter announcing impending death, an ikigami. Those who receive this ikigami letter have 24 hours of absolute freedom to do anything and everything they want. Kengo Fujimoto has made his way through university and taken a job with the Ministry. His work now is delivering these ikigami letters.

See letter below —

Dear Citizen:
Thank you for your loyalty. You’ve no doubt noticed that the world is a troubled place. People are apathetic, lazy, unmotivated. You’ve probably asked yourself
WHY ISN’T ANYTHING BEING DONE TO STOP THIS SYSTEMATIC DECLINE?
Rest assured that measures are being taken. Beginning immediately, we will randomly select a different citizen each who will be killed within 24 hours of notification. We believe this will help remind all people how precious life is and how important it is to be a productive, active member of society.
Thank you for your continued attention and your cooperation and participation…

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Excerpted from: MyDramalist

Words from Me:

I thought this was going to be another one of those psychological movie type that Japanese are so fond of but I was proved wrong. The movie made me cry for the sentimental moments shown throughout the film. Two questions were left with me when I was done with the whole thing.

– If you have only 24 hours to live, what will you do with your remaining hours?
– If death comes knocking at your doorstep, what would you do?

The main character, Kengo Fujimoto acted by Matsuda Shota, was one of the “Ikigami” bearers. An Ikigami is a notice, sent by a messenger to the person who only has 24 hours to live as issued by the government. This law was done to prosper the country by lowering crime, death rate and increasing productiveness. It was meant to sacrifice a handful of innocent or not so innocent people, but nonetheless, these people are picked randomly, given an Ikigami notice then die after 24 hours through a capsule that was injected to the citizens during the preschool age acting as a time bomb. The story revolves around the people that Kengo gives the notices to, he somehow ends up following these people and disregard his agency’s rules.

With a scene starting off with a violent act, the ending was pretty much unexpected. It was beyond my imagination that Ikigami would turn out like this. The film should be watched by many to learn more about the essence of life and living. Therefore, I am highly recommending this movie. IT IS A MUST WATCH!

I love the soundtrack, the story line, the actors, everything about the film was great. The flow of the story was very simple and yet it will leave you thinking at the same time. For the theme song entitled SIGNPOST which was also sang in one of the scenes of the movie had an incredible melody to it. The lyrics if translated to english is also meaningful. The thought and lyrics of the song was something that has to be listened to carefully (or read in our part for those who can’t understand Japanese).

 

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