Four youths share a two bedroom apartment in a corner of Tokyo. A series of assault cases occur in the same district. Eighteen year old Satoru, a male prostitute, joins them as a new house mate. Their daily life slowly starts to change.
The manager Shuu, worker Koji and one of the patrons named Ken succeed in robbing a bank. They agree to divide the stolen money equally into 3, but they become consumed by greed and try to get more than their share.
This is a dramatization of the consummate Agatha Christie book, the benchmark for the whodunit. Each of the characters is nicely portrayed by accomplished actors. The pacing, the subdued dialogue, all make this film work, even though it was felt necessary to doctor the plot and rename characters for today's audience. I won't criticize because I've never felt that we should compare movies to books--they are different media--unless the plot is badly compromised. This one is not. I remember being really pleased as an American viewer that Christie is able to bring all issues to a resolution in a believable and realistic way--no hidden doors--no strange interventions. She is able to do this even in her lesser books. Sometimes it is preferable to not be open ended, leaving unfinished details. I relish this author and the movies and movie portrayals of her books.
I also need to mention the music. The score is so carefully tuned to the actions of the characters. The stylized photography lends itself well to the oppressiveness of the setting where the characters find themselves. There is suspense, good humor that holds up today, fine acting and a wonderful plot. Grab a cup of hot chocolate, turn the lights down, snuggle in the blanket, and prepare to enjoy a wonderful, cozy mystery which hasn't been equaled since.
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