As sadomasochistic yakuza enforcer Kakihara searches for his missing boss he comes across Ichi, a repressed and psychotic killer who may be able to inflict levels of pain that Kakihara has only dreamed of.
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In 1986, in the province of Gyunggi, in South Korea, a second young and beautiful woman is found dead, raped and tied and gagged with her underwear. Detective Park Doo-Man and Detective Cho... See full summary »
54 high school girls throw themselves in front of a subway train. This appears to be only the beginning of a string of suicides around the country. Does the new all-girl group Desert have anything to do with it? Detective Kuroda tries to find the answer, which isn't as simple as one could hope. Written by
A user on this board commented that much of this film is lost in translation. This is true. From what I've seen, the overwhelming majority of users on this board are either American or European. Also, the majority of the reviews of this film are negative, and the only explanation from these negative reviews are that the film "doesn't make sense" or lacks a "solid plot."
Of course it doesn't make sense to you. You're watching it as an American. You cannot watch this film with an American lens. You're right - it doesn't make sense. But if you watch this film with a Japanese lens it makes PERFECT sense.
First, you cannot watch this film within a Christian/existential context. You must watch it from a Buddhist/Shinto perspective. This is the predominant religion in Japan.
Watching this as a Shinto/Buddhist you'll find that a lot of the images take on new meaning. Shinto is an animist religion that WORSHIPS NATURE
pay attention to the animal symbols that repeatedly crop up in the
film (did you wonder why there are baby chicks running rampant during that creepy "shaving" scene?). Also, pay attention to the colors. Yellow means something much different to the Japanese than it does to Westerners.
Also, Japan has an incredibly powerful youth culture. Western societies, especially the United States, tend to dismiss youth as a time of decadence, immorality, and lack of direction. The Japanese hold their youth in reverence - they believe it's an incredibly precious time of life. In fact, just as the US has "mother's day" and "father's day," the Japanese have "children's day!" This movie is making a statement about childhood and the value of childhood.
And, last but not least - reincarnation. Reincarnation is accepted as a fact of life in Japan. Keep that in mind when the kids from the Dessart Group are talking all "cryptic" and "nonsensical." ^_^
I won't go into detail on what sort of meaning the film takes within the native Japanese framework. I will tell you this, though: the plot IS coherent from start to finish. There aren't any "plot holes." No more so than you'll find in the greats of American cinema, such as "Citizen Kane" or "Pulp Fiction."
With these things in mind, "Suicide Club" is not as enigmatic as it might seem. Of course, this information doesn't dismiss the other complaints: gratuitous violence and the J-pop performances.... Which, I'd argue, are just more American-biased complaints.
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