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If Cats Disappeared from the World (2016) – English Review

The tough choices.

A man falls ill, and he’s told by the doctor that he hasn’t long to live. When he comes home, there’s a doppelganger waiting for him there. The doppelganger says he can live an extra day if he removes things from the world like cell phones and movies. But for everything he removes, he will forget events that have happened in the past. So the question is how much is he willing to sacrifice to live an extra day.

If Cats Disappeared from the World is a decent Japanese movie about illness and choices. The concept seems interesting, and the first hour kept my interest up. We get to see memories of the protagonist’s past, and what happened to his mother and how he met his girlfriend.

And this is where the movie builds its foundation in terms of what the protagonist will sacrifice. Events that have happened in the past gets erased. So people that the protagonist came in contact with never happened. And a cat becomes a central piece in this game.

But the movie doesn’t quite follow up on the first hour as it doesn’t get as emotional in the second half. It does the right thing by building the emotional bonds you as a viewer can recognize and understand regarding what the protagonist feels and experiences. How much would you have been willing to sacrifice to live a few extra days? The price is your memories and experiences, so is it worth it?

I thought this would be a movie with a slight twist towards the end of the movie, something it didn’t have. This is just a regular drama movie, and that disappointed me the most. If Cats Disappeared from the World feels like a movie, that should offer some twists and turns. But no, it’s just a regular drama movie.

If Cats Disappeared from the World is a well-acted movie with an interesting concept. But when the end credits appeared on the screen, I felt a little cheated. I thought the movie would have that little extra considering the opening with the doppelganger. By that I mean the movie could have been darker and more serious considering the story it tells and the choices the protagonist is facing.

Rating: 6/10

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