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Takashi Miike one of Japan's most biggest horror movie guru is finally back with "Lesson of the Evil". Will his absent be too much or will he come with something extraordinary which will give us shivers up our spins? Well at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) we had the chance to see the movie. Mr Hasumi, English teacher at a Japanese secondary school, is every teenager's dream. He is handsome, friendly and cool. He is also popular among the other teachers because of his clever methods of combating cribbing. Mr Hasumi defends his pupils: he efficiently tackles a gym teacher who can't keep his hands off the kids. His motives are however far from altruistic. That's no surprise. The viewer knows right from the terrifying start that disaster is looming. After some more events Hasumi shows his true colors and starts an rampage within the school.
For the ones expected a real horror kind of movie you will be disappointed mainly because this isn't one. It is a grim tale about bad aspects in life and which harmful situations you can come across. But it is a typical Takashi movie it again is an reflection of things that are going down in society and all the horrors it can produce. I am not sure if Takashi wanted to make a statement or just give us another bold and bloody movie. After the movie develops it gets more in your face by the minute showing you what harmful products human being are to one and other.
Visually the movie has some nice shots in it, you can see Takashi has matured on cinematographic things of his movies. Which for me really started to show in Crows 0 and 13 Assassins. He tries to put down at least the character Hasumi in different lights and really develops the character in the first part of the movie. You will feel that the students really are cannon fodder as the story develops and the subplots are completely destroyed in the second part of the movie. You can see this as a good thing or a bad thing for me it was good to see his main focus was on Hasumi and not all the others. Although 2+ hours was abit on the long side and makes the movie drag a bit from time to time.
As I mentioned the second part of the movie is where Takashi shines again in his old ways. You feel the tension rise as Hasumi is changing into a not so perfect and lovely character. Hasumi comes to school and starts playing people out to each other at first in an none harmful way just to set up his master plan. As he does this he gets involved with a student and tries to extort another teacher for having sex with a fellow gay student. After his set up he takes his skeet gun and starts literally shooting the whole class and more! Blood goes everywhere students getting shot full in the face and Hasumi does it with a laugh. Let me say it one more time BLOOD goes everywhere, no resources are spared to throw in the blood! You can say it is literally shooting skeet without remorse all the little subplots of the students are being shot down. Which was remarkably easily done, two loved ones trying to get back to each other just before they do they both get blown away with all the visual violence to go with it.
You can say that this is maybe one of Takashi's most straight forward movies, there isn't a deep underlying story to be found here. As Takashi tries to convince us with some Scandinavian folk story it isn't enough to persuade us to believe there is more. The movie is in your face and focuses on the extend of the violence in the shooting. Of course with all the shootings at school lately this topic isn't for the faint hearted since it really blows everyone away. This isn't his best work but it is a signal the master of extreme violence is back and it makes a mark! Just make sure you get through the beginning.
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