After the collapse of their relationship, Kiwako abducts the 6-month old child of a man she was having an affair with. Raising the child as her own, it is four years before the authorities catch up with her and the young child.
Ishigami comes home from work and discovers his wife dead. Just then, he receives a phone call from his wife and falls in utter confusion. Unexplainable things keep happening as Ishigami ... See full summary »
Journalist Shuichi Fujii receives a letter from convicted killer Junji Sudo. Writing from death row, Sudo wants to confess to crimes unknown to the police. On visiting Sudo in prison, Fujii... See full summary »
Tsuneo is a university student working part-time in a mah-jong parlour. Lately the customers have been talking about an old lady who pushes a baby carriage through the streets. They say she... See full summary »
When easy-going Aoyagi meets an old friend for a fishing trip, he ends up drugged, framed for the Prime Minister's assassination, and on the run from corrupt cops. It's only the beginning ... See full summary »
An introverted schoolgirl falls in love and starts a relationship with one of her classmates. Set in a small seaside town in Japan, the love of her life eventually leaves her for her boyfriend in Tokyo.
After losing everything in a tsunami, 10-year-old Hana is taken in by 26-year-old distant relative Jungo Kusarino. They live as father and daughter but share a profound sense of loss. Jungo... See full summary »
Another Great Genre-Bending Dramatic Thriller From Japan That No One Will Ever Talk About
The teenage daughter of a convicted murderer befriends the only surviving teenage daughter of the murdered family in this coming-of-age story. The persecution inflicted upon the child of a criminal is coupled with the psychological suffering associated with having ones parents and siblings brutally killed. Consequently, there's an odd attraction and friction between the leads that forms the entire foundation of the storyline. The overall quality of this film is impressive, with excellent acting, a well-written script, and a slow-burning pace that helps to fully develop not only the characters, but the complex motivations behind the murder itself.
This is one hell of a film people. One huge positive of Asian cinema is that the filmmakers are patient enough to slowly develop the characters and circumstances. The viewer spends time with each character and shares their experiences without much need for verbal clarification. For example, the opening half hour is very well-crafted as the protagonist is having fun with her friends on a field trip, but is vaguely informed by her teacher of a family "accident." The uncertainty, fear, and paranoia of this experience is expertly constructed during the lengthy car ride. At one point she passes a car accident, which throws both herself and the viewer into mutual insecurity "Was her family in that car collision? Are they okay?" This sequence really is gripping in its simplicity and execution, and I seriously doubt that there are many Hollywood directors who are even capable of duplicating this sense of realism. They'd surely get jittery and impatient, shorten the length of the sequence severely, and toss in some flash editing for good measure. Thankfully, such crippling flaws are absent in "Shinku."
There are a number of really good dramatic thrillers from Japan that no one ever talks about "Goth: Love of Death" (2008), "Waiting in the Dark" (2006), "Orochi" (2008), "Sway" (2006), "Shinku" (2005), "Keiho" (1999), "Cure" (1997), and "Angel Dust" (1994), to name but a few. This is really no surprise given the fact that millions of lemmings flock to see every single piece of certifiable crap that Hollywood churns out, and quite literally go out of their way to blatantly ignore virtually every single non-American quality thriller/horror movie in existence. Sometimes I think I'm the only person on planet Earth with a credible taste in movies. How else to explain the utter disregard for the aforementioned films, the unwarranted over-hyped praise for so many European horror movies of the 21st century, or the abject idiocy behind the oft-parroted "criticisms" of Asian movies? There is no other explanation. It's quite simply atrocious cinematic taste that has spread like wildfire on a global level.
If mediocre, sleep-inducing, juvenile garbage like "Hostel" (2005) accumulates 57,314 votes, then surely a film as well-made as "Shinku" deserves that much. As of this writing, "Shinku" has mustered a grand total I kid you not of 85 votes. So for every 1 person who sees "Shinku", there are 674 people who have seen "Hostel" (many of which deluding themselves into thinking that it's actually a good movie). If any single set of data points could quantify the level of stupidity within the human race, this is it. Yes, humanity is approximately 674 times more stupid than it should be. Natural selection must surely be taking its time.
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