|Index||3 reviews in total|
This is a grim, cleverly plotted revenge story from Kiyoshi Kurosawa -
and aside from his brilliant Cure, perhaps his best film. On the
surface, it's an uncompromising story of revenge. When a man loses his
daughter in a brutal attack, the father connects with a man, a
mathematician, clear-minded enough to help him have his revenge. But
murder would be too easy; and that's where the cold, calculated tale
takes unusual turns.
Kurosawa (no relation to Akira) sets his story in a drab, unflattering version of Japan where mercy is a rare commodity. In fact, the hallmarks of an Akira Kurosawa film - humanism, literacy, grand visuals - are mostly inverted. The antagonist is caught in the first few minutes, so the remainder of the film is a penetrating psychological study that's sometimes also cruel. At the same time, the director uses the template of a standard revenge story to explore something wider and deeper, and it's thrilling to watch the tale unfold. There's no musical soundtrack, no "feel-good" comic moments to escape into; it's as cold as it fascinating, all the more amazing for its unwillingness to compromise. It's not a typical revenger, and it's all the more exciting because of it. First rate.
Niijima is a man without a life. His daughter was killed six years ago,
and he just got his revenge against the man that killed her. But then
an old acquaintance offers him the chance to join his business, and
even though it is pretty obvious it is a shady one, Niijima agrees.
"Eyes of the Spider" is a very interesting movie, full of moody moments and long shots, that depicts the life a man that takes the path of violence and destruction. Niijima just doesn't seem to have a clear focus in life, and so, it is not much a problem for him to descend into death and darkness. Kiyoshi Kurosawa does it in a very interesting manner, with short moments full of contained violence, silence and surrealism, the camera fixed on the characters. It is a very solid direction with a very clear and personal style. The acting is quite good too, Shô Aikawa doing a good job, and all those other famous Japanese actors keeping the level.
It is not especially original, as in the plot department it's just a typical yakuza movie, but that doesn't take from a very interesting depiction of a sick world. And it has some quite funny surreal moments, as Ren Ôsugi's Yoda conversation with Aikawa's Niijima in the middle of the street.
A strange story of a man who descends into a funk after he tracks down and slowly kills the man who raped and killed his young daughter. Operating in a daze, he then gets caught up in the underworld where his shattered sense of self leads to betrayal. Slow paced and confusing, this is not comfortable to sit through.
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