Maboroshi no hikari (Maborosi) (Illusion)
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
Maboroshi no hikari (Maborosi) (Illusion)
Japanese documentarian Hirokazu Kore-eda made his first dramatic feature with this austere drama, which recalls the visual and narrative style of Yasujiro Ozu. Yukimo (Makiko Esumi) is married to Ikuo (Tadanobu Asano), a happy and humble man who loves her very much. While Yukimo and Ikuo are content in their marriage and have a beautiful infant son named Yuichi, Yukimo is haunted by visions of death. She has a recurring nightmare in which her grandmother leaves her home to go to the village of her birth to die, as Yukimo weeps uncontrollably. Yukimo's sad obsession foreshadows a real… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The tale is told in contemplative wide-angle shots; the absence of any spurious, unearned intimacy with the characters makes the climactic scenes profoundly moving."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"Maborosi is a worthwhile movie experience not because it ventures into virgin territory, but because its presentation is so precise and unique."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"Widow tries to find out why her husband killed himself. Slow-paced but moving Japanese drama."
‑ Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International
"Though the audience always remains at a distance, both physical and emotional, from Yumiko, her sense of loss and her inner journey are made vivid by purely filmic means."
‑ Alex Albanese, Boxoffice Magazine
"Measured and meditative, the Japanese film Maborosi draws the viewer, without emotional bludgeoning or manipulation, into the experience of a woman who has suffered a devastating personal loss."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Examiner
"The film, which was made with only natural light, draws the viewer into its spiritual mood with one breathtaking shot after another, as the camera draws back to contemplate Yumiko from afar."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"Maborosi is one of those valuable films where you have to actively place yourself in the character's mind. There are times when we do not know what she is thinking, but we are inspired with an active sympathy."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The film uses natural lighting exclusively, eschewing staged settings as often as possible and keeping some nighttime scenes entirely in the dark, an eerie mirror to Yumiko's wounded heart."
‑ Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
"This is a powerful and profound Japanese film about one woman's long and arduous journey through grief's labyrinth."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"Nothing is casual and nothing is wasted in Maborosi."
‑ Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
"[Hirokazu's] also one of the most empathetic filmmakers, softly guiding viewers through his meditations on life and death."
‑ Mark Pfeiffer, (Ohio)
"A superior film."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Maborosi is by no means perfect -- it drags a little and leaves a few more unanswered questions than it really needs -- but it contains some very perfect moments."
‑ Gemma Files, eye WEEKLY
More reviews for Maboroshi no hikari (Maborosi) (Illusion) on Rotten Tomatoes