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A teenager called Noriko Shimabara runs away from her family in Tokoyama, to meet Kumiko, the leader of an Internet BBS, Haikyo.com. She becomes involved with Kumiko's "family circle", which grows darker after the mass suicide of 54 high school girls. Written by
First, I will just state a few things about the movie before I give my review and comments.
-Yes, this is a continuation of sorts of the story started in Jisatsu saakuru (Suicide Club). -No, this is not a "horror" film, at least not in the modern sense. -Yes, as is stated, this is a long movie, and requires an open mind, and patience
It has been stated on several reviews of the first film that it meant to serve as a social commentary on the overly complacent stance taken by the general public in modern Japanese society. Whether that is true or not, the first film had a perfect blend of twisted "horror" imagery, with a stark use of satire. While the first one left many questions unanswered at the end, this entry into the series not only answers some of those questions, but opens new ones.
Shion Sono shows one again that not conforming to any convention can be a refreshing thing. This time around, he shows us a new story, not focusing on characters living through the main events of the story, but rather events taking place before, during, and after the events of the first film. This is all done with a much slower pace this time around, and focuses more on emotions and thought of the characters, rather than focusing on the events themselves. Most of the story itself is told though the narration of the four main characters, as they share their perspective of the events they are seeing. This gives a very intimate feel, though some may feel that the characters give a little too much detail.
This film leaves the big events of the series and instead focuses on little moments, moments that the characters share with others, or with themselves. The fact that this movie focuses more on emotions is what makes this movie shine. The performances are simply amazing. Using mostly lesser known Japanese actors, Sono has drawn out some of the most emotionally draining and shocking scenes in recent memory, and by the end of the film it is hard to think that these actors aren't all seasoned professionals. The film feels very real, and has a somewhat low budget home movie quality to it. This is the same quality that is given to many TV movies in japan. The effect is a movie that is stripped down to the basics, and is at some points very intense and hard to watch.
This is not "Suicide Club 2". There are no pop songs, or flashy Ziggy Stardust-type moments. at times this may feel like it is worlds away from the first film. For those that are looking for a good, emotionally charged film that builds on conventions and story-pieces that were started in the first film, I would whole-heartedly suggest seeing this film. It is not for everyone, and to some it may be frustrating. This is a movie for those that want to ponder a mystery much greater than any murder; inter-family relationships.
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