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Japanese Sherlock Holmes type mystery
sillyman-2 from United Kingdom
8 April 2009
From what I gather, Kosuke Kindaichi is a fictional Japanese detective,
similar to Sherlock Holmes, who was created in the 1940s and went on to
solve 77 cases. He has been featured in many films and TV series. One
of his cases, 'Joobachi' or 'Queen Bee' was first filmed in 1952, then
remade in 2006. It is the 2006 version I am reviewing. I obtained it
very cheaply from HKflix.com on a R0 disk called 'The File of Young
Kindaichi: Queen Bee'.
It appears to be part of a series as there are plenty of other
Kindaichi titles on the site, although the part of Kindaichi appears to
be regularly re-cast. In 'Queen Bee', he is played for the first time
by Goro Inagaki. The movie lats for two hours although, from the way it
is paced, I am wondering if it was originally a 3-part TV series.
It really is very bad: the acting is over the top and melodramatic and
the plot is convoluted and senseless. Kindaichi wears a cape and floppy
hat and stands around doing significant poses. Things get worse after
he solves the case with half an hour to go leaving the rest of the film
excruciatingly boring as all the plot points are slowly explained.
The main reason to watch is Chiaki Kuriyama but unfortunately she is
given little to do except stand on cliff-tops, look helpless and demure
then suddenly give one of her trademark glares to camera. She plays
Tomoko, an 18-year old girl who has spent her life on a remote island
but who is now brought to the mainland by her rich step-father to meet
three candidate husbands. Murder ensues! She also plays, in flash-back,
Tomoko's deceased mother who was suspected of murdering Tomoko's
father. Neither character is strong but merely reacts to events.
The subtitling on the DVD is pretty poor. All in all, not very good but
Chiaki completists will want it . . . plus all the other users appear
to be giving it much higher ratings than I have!
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