Nine days from writer/director Edson Oda is one of the most thought-provoking supernatural drama films in quite a while where the meaning of life is a timely reminder considering the events of the past year. Winston Duke plays Will who decides on which unborn souls are transformed into the living bodies on earth. Stationed in a house in a remote desert, Will’s only friend Kyo (Benedict Wong) is a soul who assists but doesn’t make decisions of the chosen souls. Together they watch and play back videos of previous souls that are now part of the living in particular Amanda, a 28-year-old violin prodigy who dies suddenly in a car crash on her way to a performance.
The unexpected death of Amanda starts the search for the next soul to take a position on earth with a new selection of contenders. While Kyo who has never transitioned to life on earth prepares earnestly for the process, Will struggles with his emotional connection to Amanda and re-watches the videos of her life. Battling his own internal struggles, he has trouble moving on from his own demons and this affects the way he interviews the new prospective souls.
With five very diverse characters to choose from, each soul has nine days to convince Will that they are the one to get the chance of life. If they aren’t chosen, their existence is erased forever. Alex (Arrested Development’s Tony Hale) is a very casual social guy, Kane (Bill Skarsgård) a handsome yet fierce young man, Mike (David Rysdahl) a very timid and sensitive man, Maria (Arianna Ortiz) a subservient people pleaser and the late comer Emma (Zazie Beetz) who’s curiosity and empathy bring out an inquisitive nature challenging Will’s behaviour towards the eliminated souls.
In the beginning the film slowly takes you on a contemplative visual ride with videos and short films of all the previous souls selected and eventually brings you to the point of self reflection. Nine Days reminds us the true value of life and we shouldn’t take for granted the meaningful moments. While each soul can represent many sides of human traits, the film offers opportunity to reflect on what is important in our own lives and what can we change if we knew we had limited time on earth.
Movie Review By Anastasia Lambis