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When Matsuko dies of murder, her nephew Sho gets to progressively unveil many details of her mysterious past, discovering she wasn't only a forgotten outcast but led a very interesting yet bizarre life.
I saw this movie thanks to a Japanese friend who is a film-student. I haven't seen much of Japanese cinema but I was extremely impressed with this movie. It starts very slowly, you don't quite grasp the first 20 minutes of it, because of the many facts and the very complicated Japanese names that are thrown at the viewer who is used to more occidental names. The story begins with a murder, the Japanese local police is investigating the death of an adult man whose body was found in a warehouse that was locked from the inside. The wife and her lover become the prime suspects but the murdered man also has a lover who becomes the next suspect, especially after she commits suicide. The adult man has a son called Ryoji and the mother who killed herself has a daughter called Yukiho. They become the main characters and we see them grow through High- school, College and even their professional life. The inspector who took on the case at the beginning of the movie grows older and is still obsessed with solving the murder of the man. Yukiho is surrounded by tragedy growing up, after her mother's death, her best friend and later on her sister in law get raped. Ryoji also loses his girlfriend who poisoned herself. Slowly the action takes place, the characters become older and you understand them better and the plot becomes more discernible, with a very tragic conclusion.
This movie has very beautiful close-ups, visual landscapes and gorgeous actors who played their best. Japanese cinema likes to touch upon realistic and powerful themes, you leave the cinema slightly pensive and slightly upset. At least it has motivated me to search for more Japanese movies, my friend has already given me a new stack of DVD's.
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