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Black Kiss (2004)
"Shinkuronishiti" (original title)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 236 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 11 critic

Asuka is an aspiring model who moves to Tokyo to pursue her career. She moves into a small apartment with a friend of a friend, Kasumi. A bizarre murder occurs in the hotel across the ... See full summary »

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Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Reika Hashimoto ...
Asuka Hoshino
Kaori Kawamura ...
Kasumi
Shunsuke Matsuoka ...
Yusuke Shiraki
Masanobu Andô ...
Tatsuo Sorayama
Hijiri Kojima ...
Aoi
Seri Iwahori ...
Aika
Angie ...
Mary Ayabe
Jô Odagiri ...
Joker Jono
Masao Kusakari ...
Ryusei Yozan
Eiji Okuda ...
Inspector Minezaki
Shinzen Okada ...
Isamu Kimura
Sawaco ...
Mayumi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gô Ayano
Kikuo Kaneuchi
Ken Mitsuishi
Edit

Storyline

Asuka is an aspiring model who moves to Tokyo to pursue her career. She moves into a small apartment with a friend of a friend, Kasumi. A bizarre murder occurs in the hotel across the street. The body was mutilated and repositioned into a lurid work of art. After this, a string of murders start happening all around the two girls, as if some crazed serial killer was following them. At the scene of each crime, the perpetrator leaves a black lip print, and is subsequently dubbed "The Black Kiss." Written by Anon

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28 January 2006 (Japan)  »

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Black Kiss  »

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User Reviews

 
Gorgeous and gripping, but weak in the last minutes
12 April 2007 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

After eyeing this DVD off in the stores here in humid Japan, I finally plonked down the 4,000 or so yen, and got myself a copy. I wasn't sure what exactly I was getting myself into, but I was interested in finding out what the son of Osamu Tezuka, Makoto Tezuka, could do.

What I witnessed, was a visually stunning film, drenched with atmosphere, held back only by underdeveloped main storyline, or should I say, climax. To say that the story was bad is inaccurate. After the quite intense opening, I quickly learned that this film was going to offer much much more than a typical murder mystery; gory as it may be in parts, the characters are so interesting and enjoyable to observe, I almost forgot about the grisly slaying that punctuate the film throughout.

In fact, when the climax did in fact arrive, it almost seemed to abrupt. Though the film clocks in at a little over two hours, so much time is spent soaking us beautiful imagery and tense atmosphere that the revelations in the final scenes seem out of the blue. Perhaps much more could have been done in regards to this, but seeing that this film had a rocky path to cinema release, perhaps some things were out of Mr Tezuka Junior's hands.

As stated above, the film is shot wonderfully, with great colour compositions and clever visual arrangements. The use of CGI in the film is minimal, but it is high enough in quality to fool those of more literal mindsets. The sound design is also worth a mention, as it really adds to the dark and foreboding mood of the rain drenched glistening imagery, and cramped and cluttered spaces.

Much has been said about Tezuka's references to other film makers in this film, particularly Hitchcock, but for what it's worth, it isn't a negative aspect. It isn't cheap, and I think it is a sincere attempt by the director to show us as film-goers just what makes him tick. The medical aspects of the story, perhaps echo Makoto's own upbringing, his father being a doctor originally, and I like to think that this film reflects his father's work much closer than people have assumed: an exploration of humanity, and human life.

That is what I see this film is, and the murders are just an enabler for the real dissections to take place.


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