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Angel Dust (1994)
"Enjeru dasuto" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 642 users  
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Every Monday at 6 pm a young woman is murdered in the subway. The psychiatrist Setsuko Suma is called in to assist the police. The trail leads to another psychiatrist - Dr Rei Aku - who ... See full summary »

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(as Sogo Ishii)

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(screenplay), (screenplay)
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Title: Angel Dust (1994)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Kaho Minami ...
Setsuko Suma
Takeshi Wakamatsu ...
Rei Aku
Etsushi Toyokawa ...
Tomoo
Ryoko Takizawa ...
Yuki Takei
Masayuki Shionoya
Toshinori Kondo
Yukio Yamato
Jin Akiyama
Tomorowo Taguchi
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Storyline

Every Monday at 6 pm a young woman is murdered in the subway. The psychiatrist Setsuko Suma is called in to assist the police. The trail leads to another psychiatrist - Dr Rei Aku - who Setsuko used to date. As she get closer to the solution, she gets more and more convinced that Aku's deprogramming of former sectmembers is important. Written by Mattias Sandstrm <d92-mas@nada.kth.se>

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24 January 1997 (USA)  »

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Angel Dust  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Something lost in the translation
13 February 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon.)

There's some interesting use of sound In "Angel Dust" and some splendid cinematography by Norimicho Kasamatu, especially of interiors and the memorable scene with many umbrellas. Kaho Minami, who plays the female lead, Setsuk Suma, a Tokyo "police psychologist," is beautiful, and her co-star Takeshi Wakamatsu, as psychologist Rei Aku, has an appealing rakishness about him. Unfortunately the plodding direction by Sogo Ishii lacks tension and rambles more than a bit. Add to that a convoluted mishmash of pop psychology, stilted dialogue, posed theatrics, and we have one long disappointment.

The dialogue is probably not as bad as it appears in the English subtitles, which were very poorly edited with bad verb numbers, wrong tenses and some strange word translations, e.g., "re-brain- washing" for reprogramming. Or, "You're a pleasure homicidal mania" the killer is told, meaning the killer enjoys his work, I imagine. Annoying, unconvincing and too long were the "re-brain- washing" sequences presented in grainy, flickering black and white (we were supposed to be seeing them as on video tape). The idea of a religious cult member committing murders on the Tokyo subway is as real as newspaper headlines, of course, but the psychology behind the killings here didn't wash. The "religion" was so generic as to be anonymous. We felt nothing for the victims because they were not made real, nor were any of the characters except the leads really animated.

More than anything though this movie suffered from the miscasting of Kaho Minami as the police shrink. She was somewhat believable in her "disintegrating" phase (although the scene at Aku's sanatorium with him on the TV screen was unintentionally silly), but entirely too wimpy and dreamy to be convincing as any kind of cop. The scenes with her and Aku were interesting as far as they went; unfortunately, the sharp chemical contrast between his macho nature and her alluring femininity was not ignited. One had the sense they were saving that for after the film was over. Too bad. The androgynous nature of her husband and the killer seemed pointless, but again possibly something was lost in the translation.

I think what happened here is Sogo Ishii got caught between a theatrical tradition and some notions of Western style realism, and ended up with succotash.


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