Nami (Kumi Takiuchi) is a lonely young girl prone to outbursts of left field violence, due to being ignored by her poverty-relief obsessed mother who leaves one day, leaving her with her depressed father and older sister. Nami’s dad takes on a mistress and still ignored and with her sister now with a boyfriend, Nami seeks constant solace in in an inane shopping channel, captivated by the gadgets and bargains offered by the smiling host.
Years later, Nami, now a young woman has a peculiar hobby in which she observes and takes notes on sad and very lonely elderly people, who she calls “Solitarians”. There’s the angry middle aged man who barges by everywhere rudely bumping people aside, and there’s the crazy homeless looking guy who feeds the pigeons, all collectively becoming Nami’s muse and a source of endearment. One specific solitarian catches her attention. He’s Mr. Shiomi (Takashi Sasano) an embittered old man, who once empowered with former status, is now alone, lonely and angry, going through each day with a grumpy, dreary resignation.
Nami is captivated by this with Mr Shiomi providing her with much entertainment. One day however a Christian missionary woman Su Yong (Khobbi Kim) visits Mr Shiomi and asks if he’d like her to engage in bible reading with him. Suspicious at first, Mr Shiomi eventually agrees and a hesitant friendship begins between them with Mr Shiomi, becoming less bitter and finding a new appreciation for life.
Nami is not amused. Mr Shiomi’s new found zest means he’s no longer a “Solitarian” thanks to Su Yong’s meddling. What’s to be done about this state of affairs? One thing’s for sure, Nami will not have anyone messing with her precious hobby or her viewed from afar subjects…
Grateful Dead is well, pretty great actually with it starting off like a typically quirky Japanese comedy before slowly but inexorably getting darker & darker until veering into outright horror territory toward the third act. However, it’s really a (very effective) mixture of genres, combining comedy with drama and some social commentary to boot, before its demented conclusion.
A highly recommended little gem it should be sought out by any horror/genre fan or anyone who likes offbeat films in general.
4.37GB | 1h 38m | 1280×688 | mkv