Imagine if directors such as Akira Kurosawa or Kihachi Okamoto were still alive today, and made a samurai film that resonated with today's audiences. FREESIA would be that film.
Wonderfully incorporating an old-fashioned samurai story into a modern setting, FREESIA shows what society would be like if the revenge code wasn't just still in practise, but was law.
Victims of crime have the right to retaliate against their attackers, overseen by lawyers and carried out by appointed assassins. Areas are cleared while these stand-offs take place.
Two main characters, lawyer Higuchi and assassin Kanou, share a history together (which we see in the film's opening sequence), something which effects their emotional outlook on the world around them.
Brilliantly directed by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri (GREEN MIND, METAL BATS, KICHIKU DAI ENKAI), who brings an intelligently restrained approach to subject matter which could have easily been melodramatic and full of loud, pointless action scenes. He brings a suitably cold and detached feel to a world where chaos and well-organised death is a way of life, using ice, water, and certain colour schemes as metaphors for what the characters are experiencing.
Exceptionally well-shot and edited, with pitch-perfect performances, FREESIA is a film that, given its premise, may prove disappointing for those seeking non-stop action. However, for those seeking something more nourishing and thought-provoking, FREESIA will certainly deliver the goods. Let's just hope Hollywood doesn't remake it.
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