Film Review: I Want to Go Home

Wesley Leon Aroozoo | 62 menit | Singapura | 2017 | PG

Through the story about Yasuo Takamatsu in looking for his wife who lost in 2011 earthquake and tsunami tragedy, Wesley Leon Aroonzoo in I Want to Go Home (2017) recorded the tragedy and loss experinces by Japanese people of the tragedy that has claimed more than 15 thousand people. Aroonzoo was not kidding in showing Takamatsu’s wound because of the disaster. Opening the film with the scene of Takamatsu’s message for his lost wife, this is actually the rightest scene to build the loss atmosphere that experienced by Takamatsu. The atmosphere then consistently being built through the film using cinematography, audio and effective story-telling.

There was a pattern that could be read in story-telling aspect, the repetition of Takamatsu who was story-telled the audience about how the disaster became the reason behind his current circumstance. But, this repetition felt too soft and not boring because of each of it having a part where the repetition cycle was being story-telled with different details, bringing the audience understand more about Takamatsu character.

After striking the audience with the feeling of loss as the appetizer, Aroozoo then steeped on how the feeling was created to further deepen the conflicts experienced by Takamatsu. Started with how Takamatsu as professional diver constantly dive into the ocean once every week, looking for his wife, then transitioned into childhood story mologue with the screen turned itu transition of the disaster’s pictures interpreted by children. Takamatsu’s monologue then bringing the audiences understand more about the loss that he experienced whrn he begun to tell his relation with his wife. He succeed in reviving his wife’s figure, making the audience understand what was Takamatsu felt.

Finished with how the feeling arises, this film bringing us to experienced Takamatsu’s effort in facing his loss. The search showed how losing someone he loves bringing him into depression and willing to do everything to protect what was remained.  Although he knew that what he did maybe couldn’t ever cure his wound, instead will cause deeper wound. Takamatsu refused to let his wife disappear into nothingness and kept on reviving her thought only in his memory.

The efforts that brought Takamatsu dealing with parties that took role as “mind police” a la Orwell. It because the search that Takamatsu did, later in the future made people realize that there was negligence by some parties. Takamatsu then fought the “mind police” which could be incarnated in any form, from media, government, up to the court, who stated that the loss of his wife could not be sepatated from an event’s constellation. But even the mind police will be forever mind police, didn’t care he currently incarnated as exact institution. It will always tried to take Takamatsu’s freedom to celebrate his sadness over the search. Citating Orwell, the will always seize the right to say two plus to equal four.

Aroozoo was also did’t forget to intersperse the parts of the film since the beginning with physical damage caused by the tragedy. Yet it nothing else was an effort from Aroozoo to said that the loss that Takamatsu felt, was also felt by all the victims of this disaster, in different spectrums. But that all was nothing, because there was no hierarchy in sadness. Music background by John Chua faintly accompanying Takamatsu’s monologue, full of post rock instrumental elements a la Japanese music group, Mono and flash back about Takamatsu’s memories in dark animation and designed visually, makes the audiences shedding tears, bringing us deeper into sadness and how empty his life is after losing his love.

I Want to Go Home is a story about sense of belonging and loss, and a search of something uncertain. It makes the audience understand how precious memories are, it be able to move people to protect it alive even only in their mind, because no matter what, the battle of human civilization, is the battle againts forgetfulness.

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