A young woman's murder provokes reflection on the ugliness and villainy of modern society.

Director:

Writers:

(based on the novel by), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
13 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Hura gâru (2006)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Young women in a small Japanese town look to revive their home's declining fortunes by building a Hawaiian village tourist attraction.

Director: Sang-il Lee
Stars: Yasuko Matsuyuki, Etsushi Toyokawa, Yû Aoi
Ikari (2016)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A grisly unsolved murder links three seemingly unrelated stories in three different Japanese cities.

Director: Sang-il Lee
Stars: Ken Watanabe, Hikari Mitsushima, Mirai Moriyama
Drama | Musical | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

An anthology of several short films by several directors where each has taken inspiration from a favourite song of his by the Japanese punk rock band. The segments include Be Kind to Others, Love Letter and A Boy's Song.

Directors: Noboru Iguchi, Ken Iizuka, and 4 more credits »
Stars: Hirofumi Arai, Towa Araki, Yôsuke Asari
Fune wo amu (2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Majime, an eccentric man in publishing company, who has unique ability of words, joins the team that will compile a new dictionary, 'The Great Passage.' In the eclectic team, he becomes ... See full summary »

Director: Yûya Ishii
Stars: Ryûhei Matsuda, Aoi Miyazaki, Joe Odagiri
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A story about the disappearance of Kirishima, a star athlete of the volleyball club and how this disappearance of his affect every person in his school.

Director: Daihachi Yoshida
Stars: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Ai Hashimoto, Suzuka Ohgo
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young man is falsely accused of molesting a high-school girl on a train. He is arrested and charged, and goes through endless court sessions, all the while insisting that he is innocent.

Director: Masayuki Suo
Stars: Ryo Kase, Asaka Seto, Kôji Yamamoto
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A child's horrific murder brings to light the haunted truth of an affair between her mother and a neighbor. As a magazine reporter investigates the case, he finds that nothing is as it seems.

Director: Tatsushi Ohmori
Stars: Hirofumi Arai, Mansaku Ikeuchi, Arata Iura
Yureru (2006)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

On the anniversary of the death of the mother of a hip and happening Tokyo-based photographer, the son returns to his hometown for the funeral. What follows is a return to the past that is ... See full summary »

Director: Miwa Nishikawa
Stars: Joe Odagiri, Teruyuki Kagawa, Masatô Ibu
Kisaragi (2007)
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

One year after the suicide of C-list model Kisaragi Miki, five of her fans come together for a commemorative meeting; fan club leader Iemoto, Oda Yuji, "Snake", Yasuo, and "Strawberry Girl"... See full summary »

Director: Yûichi Satô
Stars: Shun Oguri, Yûsuke Santamaria, Keisuke Koide
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Were people's lives changed by having known Yonosuke?

Director: Shûichi Okita
Stars: Jun Kunimura, Ayumi Itô, Gô Ayano
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young woman who works at cosmetic company becomes the prime suspect after her beautiful co-worker is murdered.

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Stars: Mao Inoue, Gô Ayano, Nanao
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

32-year-old Ichiko (Sakura Ando) lives at home with her parents, passing the days in self-indulgent grunginess. Ichiko's recently divorced younger sister Fumiko has moved back home with her... See full summary »

Director: Masaharu Take
Stars: Sakura Andô, Hirofumi Arai, Yôzaburô Itô
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Mitsuyo
...
Shimizu
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Akira Emoto ...
Ishibashi, Yoshino's father
Hisashi Igawa ...
Katsuji
Mansaku Ikeuchi ...
Kubo
Hanae Kan
Sabu Kawahara
Suzuki Matsuo
Ken Mitsuishi ...
Norio, Yuichi's uncle
Yoshiko Miyazaki
Kento Nagayama
Hiroshi Oda
Edit

Storyline

A young woman's murder provokes reflection on the ugliness and villainy of modern society.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 September 2010 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Villain  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
shades of grey
18 December 2011 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

Villain lost out at the 2011 Japan Academy Awards on the big prizes to Confessions. While Directing, Script and Best Picture went the way of the bleak, hyper-stylised Takako Matsu flick, all four acting awards were scooped by Villain. The reason for that split is abundantly clear.

Villain centres on lonely Yuichi who drives through the night and occasionally meets women through online dating sites. The forum for their meeting suggests each is as flawed as the other. When one assignation goes very badly indeed, something dark in Yuichi is unleashed. He then gets a message from another female via the site, and so two life-changing events take place within seconds of each other.

Villain explores complex questions of moral responsibility, the hypocrisy of social condemnation, and the extent of individual responsibility. The direction is workmanlike, and the framing rarely gets beyond a TV aesthetic. But the script is naturalistic and offers genuine insight, peaking in the father of the victim (Akira Emoto) revealing that hateful people are the way they are because they are too cowardly to risk caring for someone. Emoto and Kirin Kiki excel as the elder generation struggling to come to terms with the ugly turn the world has taken. Krini Kiki, faced with extortion, goes from bewilderment to fear to resignation all by changes of expression and never a word spoken. But it is the two young leads, Eri Fukatsu and Satoshi Tsumabuki, who truly excel here. Fukatsu especially shows a young woman capable of living with the emptiness inside her, until meeting someone who can fill it proves too much to bear. The cathartic peak of the film is her scene of self-awareness. Tsumabaki also gets to test his range at the end, but in a much more chilling and wonderfully ambiguous direction.

There are good guys and bad guys here, as you'd expect given the content, but they are not where you expect to find them. There is a murderer, but we are less convinced of our stance towards him than we are to the press-pack parasites, conman doctor, self-absorbed mother, and shallow and narcissistic university undergrad. A bus driver strangely earns our cheers, and is perhaps the only unambiguous 'good' character in the film. In a time where heinous crimes have become everyday and our ability to relate with one another seems fragmented and brutalised, the causes may not always be where the lazy self-appointed moral guardians in the media and corridors of power suggest they lie.

Villain is a slow build to its message, a slightly meandering survey of its theme, and the pacing can frustrate over the flabby 139 minutes. But it is worth sticking with for the questions it forces you to reflect on at the end, and the consummate acting. One of the best films to come out of Japan this century.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?