Directed by Shunji Iwai
Produced by Harada Izumi, Ogawa Shinchi, and Ishihara Takashi
Written by Shunji Iwai
Cast: Ranran Suzuki, Hiroyuki Watari, Dave Spector, Ken Mitsuishi, Kôichi Hayashi, Maki Onda, Fujiko Yamamoto and Naoki Fuji
A young man moves into a new apartment one month ahead of schedule as a favor for someone else. But, the young man finds himself dealing with the antics of two strangers trying to throw a special Christmas party in his new apartment.
Like the ghosts in Ghost Soup. this film remains nearly forgotten by time. Ghost Soup’s reputable obscurity is deserving for the most part since it’s a tv movie, and it is an early work of a future high profile director who was still perfecting his craft. Ghost Soup is actually the first work of Shunji Iwai I’ve seen, so it’s hard to see if his style of filmmaking was born here. Ghost Soup taken on face value is pretty enjoyable. It’s pretty evidently a holiday film made to spice up the Christmas spirit. Holiday movies are notoriously predictable, and I hate to say it, but Ghost Soup falls into the same trap. However, Ghost Soup being a holiday film allows the film to run with an uplifting energy. While Ghost Soup is a simple story about a lesson in humility, it still resonates with a dreamy atmosphere for its subtle blend of the surreal and paranormal. The typical plain and old Japanese wacky slapstick in action only heighten the amusing surreal comedy. The cast are filled with right level of playfulness without becoming too irritating. The principal highlight is Nana who loves to have fun to the extreme, but not in a way that compromises her likeability. When the Ghost Soup finishes its tale, it’s heartwarming. As the characters in the story itself, you want a refill of the Ghost Soup when the soup ”ends”.
Ghost Soup is an outlandish Dickensian paranormal tale about the value of not forgetting those around us during the most generous time of the year.