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A traumatized young woman is trying to recover her memories with the help of a psychiatrist. During her hypnosis sessions, she repeats the name "Tomie" but is unable to recall where she knows it from. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From the opening credits, I was hooked. There's a strange static and distorted voice over the black screen with simple white titles. Then we're taken to a noisy city street where a young man is digging through a white paper bag. Within a few seconds, what should be horrifying segues into one of the most beautiful moments of stillness I have ever seen in a film, Asian or otherwise. The music is at once haunting and peaceful. It's like those moments in a Miyazaki film that are so peaceful, with a tinge of Dario Argento's Goblin soundtrack.
It is very hard to find a decent review of this movie. The one positive review I found gave away the entire plot. It's one of those movies that is so metaphor-laden, it makes absolutely no sense if you just watch the images and hear the sounds. Still pretty amazing, but I don't think it would keep someone's attention if they weren't thinking while viewing. There is a lot more going on here than just a few murders.
Like many (too many?) Japanese movies, there is a lot left unsaid. Characters with strange quirks are introduced, and it never explains why they have those quirks. Transitions from one scene to the next sometimes feel awkward. It sometimes feels like you're reading a book by a first-time author, as it is not clear why some scenes are even included. This is not a polished high-quality cinematography type film either...not up to the standards of Ringu or Dark Water. It lies somewhere between the blockbusters and Evil Dead Trap.
Even as I make those criticisms, I could only bring myself to take one smoke break. As much as Tomie may look like Sadako (and every other female ghost), this is a truly engaging film that still has me thinking 24 hours after viewing it.
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