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A wave of gruesome murders is sweeping Tokyo. The only connection is a bloody X carved into the neck of each of the victims. In each case, the murderer is found near the victim and remembers nothing of the crime. Detective Takabe and psychologist Sakuma are called in to figure out the connection, but their investigation goes nowhere. An odd young man is arrested near the scene of the latest murder, who has a strange effect on everyone who comes into contact with him. Detective Takabe starts a series of interrogations to determine the man's connection with the killings.Written by
Todd K. Bowman <email@example.com>
(at around 51 mins) In Japan, they drive on the left side of the road and the steering wheel is on the right side of the car. In every scene in this picture that's the case - except one. When the detective leaves in his car to go to the hospital because Mamiya has turned up there, the steering wheel is on the left and he drives on the right side of the road. See more »
There are no opening credits, with the exception of the movie's title. See more »
I think it is important to distinguish Cure from the avalanche of white-face-ghost-girl Japanese horror flicks that followed in Ringu's wake. Purely because it's a different beast and lumping it in a convenient J-horror niche is doing it a disservice. I won't go into plot specifics because it's only a skeleton for Kurosawa to hang his atmospherics. That said, I can understand the complaint many viewers seem to share ("man, it doesn't make sense") but without having any claims on solving Cure's riddle, I'm satisfied with letting wash over me, one watch at a time.
Kurosawa wisely doesn't attempt to explain his plot. He's content to lift the veil just enough for us to sneak a glimpse in before he disorients again. The plot slowly builds through little tokens that are never followed by an orchestral crescento to signal their arrival. They just happen. A small photo in a book, muffled words on a phonogram, an old video, the ramblings of an amnesiac, theories on 18th century Austrian doctors. In the course of the film, everything seems to be coming together only to remain elusive in the end. In that aspect I find Cure to be closer to Last Year at Marienbad than your average Ringu clone. It's not about making sense, it's about pushing limits within which you can. It's about soaking in the impression it makes. When muffled words come through a phonogram, they're more incoherent ramblings than a telegraphed plot solution; but they contribute just as well to the overarching feel. This elliptic mentality is abetted by Kurosawa's choice of a slow, deliberate pace and many long shots, entire scenes covered without any cuts. The gritty and rundown aspect of Tokyo is photographed like a more naturalistic version of David Fincher's work and does the job well.
It's my impression that a surrealist air hovers above and at the heart of Cure, at times reminiscent of a more languid version of Lynch. It is undoubtedly a horror movie so don't be put off by my Resnais comparison, but it's as much bleak as it is subtle and leaves enough to the mind's eye to make you carry it out with you.
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