This past Saturday I went with my significant other and their friends to watch a foreign film that expected to give a good case of the feelz. That film was Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds, based on a Korean webcomic.
The plot of the movie focuses on a firefighter who has just died an honorable death by saving a little girl. Upon his death, he meets three spirits to guide him through the afterlife. The film takes liberties with Buddhist beliefs involving 49 days for 7 trials, each trial judging the lives of those who have passed, and for those who are truly a paragon in their lifetime, reincarnation is the reward. But for our main character, he doesn’t care to be reborn, he just wants the opportunity to speak to his mother one last time in her dreams.
The three spirits he meets will be serving as his attorneys in these trials to determine whether or not he is guilty of murder, indolence, deceit, injustice, betrayal, violence, and/or filial impiety. But as the film progresses, our potential paragon appears to have a more complex life story that challenges the notion of if he is worthy of reincarnation. To make things worse, a vengeful spirit in the living world threatens the peace of the afterlife and makes things a lot more complicated for our main cast.
To keep things brief and spoiler-free for those who will watch the film and I highly encourage everyone to watch Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds – no matter what faith you practice or whether or not you believe in an afterlife, the twists and turns throughout our protagonist’s life instantly make him relatable for any viewer. With each trial bringing up hidden secrets each one more worse than the last, you sympathize with the main character as he makes no attempt to disregard his mistakes. At no point in the film does he find himself to be a righteous person. It turns out that he has spent his entire adult life working hard in atonement for something that happened in his youth. Even by the end of the film, he is so set on making contact with his mother one last time you can’t help but hope his guardians find a way to triumph over what the prosecutors and judge have to say.
Seriously, Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds was so good I teared up multiple times. Even my significant other was crying and it was her second time watching it. If an amazing story is not enough for you, how about well-rendered visually stunning CGI and action sequences between ghouls and sword-wielding “reapers” that instantly make you otaku anime dorks think LIVE ACTION BLEACH.
I’m happy to say Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds is my first movie in theaters for 2018. It was a well-spent 2 hours and 19 minutes getting in touch with my emotions right before my final two weeks for the academic quarter filled with emotionless quantitative work.