"Keizoku/eiga" aka. "Keizoku - The Movie" is a difficult film to rate. I haven't seen any episode of the Keizoku TV-series yet, so I cannot judge whether or not the film catches up with the show. The movie is definitely very strange, but neither in a bad nor in a really good way. It is even not quite easy to determine the genre of this film. It is a murder mystery thriller, of course, but then again, the movie features elements of different genres such as some supernatural and surreal elements, and a wide range of comedy elements. There is a somehow tragically hilarious subplot of a retiring police chief who is in love with a teenage schoolgirl Lolita for example. I liked the surrealism and the humorous parts. In-between the plot the film often has some quick video-clip style sequences which I found more annoying than cool. The film also has too many plot-twists, in my opinion, and the whole thing sometimes becomes a bit confusing. The atmosphere is intense, however, and sometimes quite creepy, and I also liked the development of the characters. The main character, female police detective Jun Shibata (beautiful Miki Nakatani) is very likable, almost too cute for a policewoman.
The film takes place on an island with a very peculiar looking castle on it, a setting that makes the film quite atmospheric. The performances are good, I especially liked Miki Naktani. Still, it is quite hard to rate this film. The film has some great aspects, but the video-clip style interludes were a bit out of place and the many twists were often very far-fetched. I personally liked the film, but I can't really explain why. My fellow fans of Japanese cinema can give it a try, but I can't guarantee that anybody else is gonna like it. A matter of personal taste, but definitely not your average murder mystery.
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