Movie Review: Rentaneko (Rent-a-Cat)

December 22, 2012 § 1 Comment

Rentaneko (Rent a Cat) | Year: 2012
Director: Naoko Ogigami | Writer: Naoko Ogigami
Genre: Drama, Family | Duration: 1 hr 40 mins
Starring: Mikako Ichikawa, Reiko Kusamura, Ken Mitsuishi
Rating: 2 1/2 Cups of Coffee

“Let this cat fill a hole in your heart” 

Sayoko rents out cats to help lonely people fill up the emptiness in their heart. She walks along the banks of the river with a megaphone promoting her service and her animals in a hand cart. It turns out that Sayoko is lonely too, ever since the death of her grandmother. All she has left is her cats. However, one day a young man shows up from Sayoko’s past. He follows her home and suddenly her life seems completely to fall apart.

My Review

My first opinion is this movie is adorable as it has lots of cute “neko”-cats and a beautiful lead actress, though her sense of fashion is a bit off. As its core, Rent-a-Cat is about loneliness and how to fill up the hole in one’s heart. The main character of this movie, Sayoko, portrayed by Mikako Ichikawa, repeatedly wonders along the river banks – it’s so beautiful, I wish I can walk along such a river bank as well! Pulling a cart full of her cute cats, she’s offering cat rental to lonely people. 
I like Sayoko so much. Though she is an awkward looking girl with a dream of getting married soon and has her honeymoon in Hawaii, she is definitely an adorable person in character and has a definite good heart not only towards animals, but towards people around her as well. “Let this cat fill the hole in your heart”, is the nicest suggestion to the each of the people renting her cat. And she is also protective of her cats until the extend of doing the thorough inspection of the cat-renters because she though “Some jerks like to abuse little animals”. 
It’s so fascinating that the director plays a lot with the beautiful color tones and picturesque settings. I feels like I wish I can be a part of the beautiful settings. Sayoko’s house though it looks less spacey, it is so beautiful that I wish I have a house like that but with no cats of course. However, I think that this movie’s weak point is the delivery of it’s emotional aspect left a small impact on me. Definitely, it has some humors but it fails to make me laugh. Normally, for this kind of movie, with its deep message I’m expecting myself to cry a bucket or two, but it failed terribly. I don’t even shed a tear. Moreover, the movie’s repetitive nature on the whole makes the movie less fun and less emotional than expected. The ending is confusing. I was like “What? That’s it?”. I really hope that it would end differently i.e Sayoko getting married with the boy from the past and off the go to Hawaii for honeymoon. Well, that’s my kind of ending which never happened in this movie. 
All in all, it’s adorable and cute but it’s boring. Highly recommended for those who love cats. You might love this movie too. 


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