When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to Be Dead

wifeDirector: Lee Toshio

Released in 2018

Chie (Eikura Nana) greets Jun (Yasuda Ken) each evening with a scene featuring her death. One day she’s been swallowed by an alligator; the next shot through the head with an arrow, and so on. Once he gets over the first shock, Jun plays along, but is puzzled and somewhat worried: Is Chie upset about something and is this her way of telling him about it? Jun confides in his colleague, Soma who, it transpires, has his own marital problems.

As the viewer, I felt, intensely, Jun’s amusement and then his growing sense of frustration. Chie was harder to read, but her calm and cheerful demeanour seemed to suggest that her actions were no cause for concern. Still, I did wonder if she had some deep-seated issues with death and dying, especially as her mother had passed away when she was just five.

All is revealed eventually and it’s wholly satisfying how both the humorous and sadder aspects of the story made me reflect on the gift of companionship and the potential loneliness of seemingly close bonds. Ultimately, making that connection is a matter of will.

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