Directed By: Tetsuya Nakashima
Written By: Tetsuya Nakashima, Miako Todano & Nobuhiro Monma
Based on the Novel By: Akio Fukamachi
Cinematography By: Shoichi Ato
Editor: Yoshiyuki Koike
Cast: Koji Yakusho, Nana Komatsu, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Fumi Nikaidou, Ai Hashimoto, Jun Kunimara, Joe Odagiri
Kanako, a beautiful girl and one of the best students at school, goes missing with all the belongings left behind in her room. Her father Akikazu is now asked by his ex-wife to look for their daughter. He starts a desperate search of Kanako using any means, in the hope of getting his “ideal” family back in place despite the fact that the very reason of the family breakup was because of his problematic personality and behaviors. Following tracks of her past and present and talking to her “friends,” he starts to get to know his daughter whom he never knew or didn’t even attempt to know. When Akikazu is led to one clue, he realizes the world Kanako was facing beyond his imagination… Can the father find his daughter, and get back his perfect happy family he has dreamed of after all these years?
This film is definitely a wild ride. A film best to discover without knowing too much as it makes the film Much more fun and revealing. The film is definitely a one of a kind experience.
The rapid editing keeps the audience off balance but keeps the screen alive with images you wouldn’t anticipate what the next image would be if they weren’t already in rapid presentation. Though it keeps the film moving with vitality as you try to put it all together and keep getting thrown curveballs.
While the film leads you more down a path as it rarely allows itself any downtime to let you or ponder it’s outcomes makes you anxious. Like the little detail of the main character being an alcoholic and no matter the atmosphere or circumstances always sweating as no one else really does. His clothes stained the deeper he gets. It gets just as dirty as he has to go through so much stuff and shit
We would normally equate his body language and clothing with a guilty character. Here his character isn’t innocent at all and has a past yet is still our hero revealing information to us all along in tidbits. Disguised as flashbacks from the films P.O.V. Though Not the main character of the father actually discovering any of this. Even as he is part of them at times.
Almost like CITIZEN KANE, as he follows this case he and we discover more about the main character his daughter. Filling in the blanks. We see the different sides to her character. He also seems to believe he has things figured out as a an ex-detective believing himself smarter than the other characters. Though even based on evidence it might point to his theories being wrong and usually ending up being way off. The main character who is also unstable mentally and emotionally that might be why the film is edited that way to match his mind state and how he interprets clues and the pieces of the case as they come together.
It’s hard to sympathize with a lead who is guilty of raping his ex-wife out of some prolonged revenge against her. Yes it’s that type of movie. A very dark, bleak, decadent and abusive. He might be just as bad or even worse then the people he is investigating or believes others are. (Don’t know of not showing it was a matter of not exploiting it or of showing it would make him over the top hateful for the audience or just an artistic choice in the end.
At it’s heart the film is a mystery luckily with no last minute character introductions to disavow all that came before them. He regularly abuses the female characters in all sorts of ways. We follow him as we have to, to learn more even though we don’t really necessarily like him or his actions.
The film becomes so much more then the investigation in the places it goes and in the subject matter. Though this is a film you have to pay attention to, to fully understand if you get distracted it will stay a mystery and make no sense.
The film keeps building to a bigger, better mystery that grows grand like a conspiracy. That gets deeper as the film goes along. Even causing the further abuse and death of others. Through his own actions.
No character in the film is really likable. By the end most seem more like victims.
Strangely at times the director tries to make the film have a throwback style. And films it as a 1970’s grindhouse revenge exploitation action film. Truly showing that the film is all over the place.
When all is revealed it’s nothing you would think. It’s not only nasty but positively evil.
As the female lead his daughter is a trap, a honey trap of sorts that leads others over a torturous path they can’t escape from. She is basically bait. As she tells you what you want to hear to draw you in. You then drop your armor. Then she drops you. So cruelly it feels like it destroys you making you feel a singly scared and empty they the person becomes obsessed even after being destroyed. That you will do anything to be back In Her good graces and then she challenges you. That is when the real trouble begins. All driven by desire.
All of this Offset by the jolly detective who is always smiling and in a good mood despite all almost around him there being in chaos. Who might be more then he seems. He might also know more then he lets on. Bringing the film into being Bigger then it’s initial mystery almost feels like an epic being shot through a nightmare. Almost like a David lynch film minus the elegance.
This film will definitely cause a reaction almost as it is Reminiscent of the film OLDBOY to a degree. So it is in good quality but bad company. They both revolve around incest or thoughts of it and a dysfunctional family drama that spills out over to others. Like a cancer that corrupts and contaminates all they come into contact with. They also end up revealing multiple narratives in the stories.
Not for the faint hearted, this film feels like it was designed or written by The Joker the villain from Batman
Might have sort of a worst case scenario fear of most misogynists her somehow condemns and justifies them. As this film is endlessly brutal and somewhat self destructive and Defeated that drags you along the way and forcing you into the world you don’t want to ever see. All about exposing their true selves underneath and the disappointments they have.
The set-up of tricks when you think you are going to be a knight in shining armor. As the film continuously goes to where you wouldn’t expect. That keeps getting bigger the longer the film goes, can’t help but cause chaos, death and destruction.
Think of this film as a mix of TWIN PEAKS and BAD LIEUTIENT.