Title – Nine Days (2020)
Director – Edson Oda (feature debut)
Cast – Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Benedict Wong, Bill Skarsgård, Tony Hale
Plot – The reclusive Will (Duke) with help from his only friend Kyo (Wong) begins to conduct a series of interviews over the period of nine days to pick a human soul to be born and live a life on Earth.
“Good memories, bad memories, they’re all just the same right now”
Review by Eddie on 29/11/2021
If we’re lucky, a couple of times a year we get a film that on face value may not appear to be anything truly special but upon watching casts a magical spell over willing viewers to create something noteworthy and memorable, in 2021 one of those such films is Edson Oda’s moving debut feature Nine Days.
Much like the Nicolas Cage starring Pig from this year, a film that managed to become much more than just another Nicolas Cage film or a budget Taken with hooves, the Spike Jonze produced Nine Days for all intents and purposes seems like a small film that could be a nice way to pass some time but from the moment Oda’s beautifully constructed fantasy drama begins, there’s a sense that you’re in for something outside of the normal, something unique and something that feeds the soul within.
Following Winston Duke’s (never better than he is here as a broken but kind hearted man) reclusive and softly spoken Will as he goes about his job monitoring people’s lives on small TV screens in front of him and interviewing prospective souls for vacant positions to become a living breathing human, Nine Days concept may ask viewers to give up their prejudices but for anyone willing to go along with Oda’s ode to what it means too be human and the gift that is everyday living, this unique and touching experience may just be the type of film that continues to linger on in your memory and even change the way you view your own human experience.
Shot with a keen eye by cinematographer Wyatt Garfield and scored with grace by famed composer Antonio Pinto, Nine Days is a complete all round feature package lead by Oda’s impressively refined direction and a collection of great performances from Duke, the radiant Zazie Beetz as prospective human Emma, Benedict Wong as Will’s only real friend Kyo and some nice little supporting turns from Bill Skarsgård an Tony Hale as some of the other souls Will must choose as worthy to be gifted life in the world we call our own.
We’re never told exactly where Nine Days takes place or why things are as they are (particularly why VHS tapes seem to be the go to for Will’s job) but really none of that matters as the joys you will discover when watching Oda’s film and the learnings both his characters and we as viewers have through the films constantly engaging run time ensure that this is a gripping, moving and heartwarming tale filled with some of the most affectionate and touching material you could hope to find in a film.
Final Say –
A wonderful debut from Edson Oda who has marked himself down as a director of note with his efforts here, Nine Days is an unforgettable little film about the big things. Providing a beautiful viewer experience, Nine Days is one of 2021’s best and a film deserving to be discovered by a bigger audience than it was afforded upon release.
5 bike rides out of 5