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Negotiator (2003)

Kôshônin (original title)
After a convenience store robbery, three unidentified men hold a group of people hostage in a hospital. Inspector Ishida and Captain Tohno handle the negotiations while one of their ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay) (as Kôta Yamada)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Hiroshi Mikami ...
Inspector Ishida
Mayu Tsuruta ...
Capt. Maiko Tohno
Shirô Sano ...
Lt. Ando
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ken'ichi Endô ...
Convenience store clerk
Masatô Ibu ...
Ishida's boss
Renji Ishibashi ...
Counselor Kanemoto
Kumi Nakamura ...
Mrs. Ishida
Shigemitsu Ogi
Oji Osuga ...
(as Ohji Ohsuga)
Kenji Takechi ...
SAT
Yôji Tanaka
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Storyline

After a convenience store robbery, three unidentified men hold a group of people hostage in a hospital. Inspector Ishida and Captain Tohno handle the negotiations while one of their colleagues, Lt. Ando, tries to find out why the men decided to take the hospital hostage. Through flashbacks, relevant information is revealed to the audience. When the negotiations are finished, most things seem to be fine... until they lose track of the criminals. Then, the story unveils from a different perspective, its roots in feelings of love and vengeance. Written by Rebeca C.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime

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Release Date:

17 August 2003 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Negotiator  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Convenience store clerk: The black one had a really long hair down to here
[points below his waist]
Convenience store clerk: he might look like a woman at glance... but he's unmistakably a man.
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User Reviews

 
no expectations, please
21 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Yes, it's a Takashi Miike film, which means just about anything's possible.

Keep that in mind - that's the only guide you will have to the plot of this movie. In fact this is one of the few narrative films where any discussion of the plot effectively gives it away. It's about police negotiators in a hostage situation - let's leave it at that.

I confess that I really don't understand this director - he's the most prolific in Japan, and will apparently direct just about any idea you can get on film - from raw exploitation (Full Metal Yakuza) to sensitive coming-of-age stories (Sabor) to wild experimental films (Izo). Still, it's wonderful we have a director like this to remind us that the joy in making films is making films; and the joy of watching them is discovering they are made.

The dialog could have been more succinct, and the editing tighter in spots. Also, be aware that the film's intention to disappoint expectations hinges to some extent on Japanese customs and traditions we don't enjoy in the West, so some of the plot-twists here will seem a little odd to Westerners; but they actually do work, in their context.

Otherwise, there are some really powerful performances from the actors here and the theme is ultimately somber and very moving. The camera-work is high quality, always on top of a story threatening to pull away from it at every turn. Takashi Miike always risks being self-indulgent, but usually there's a pay-off for the audience in it, and there certainly is here.

Fine dramatic film from one of cinema's true eccentrics.


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