Black Statement Book
- 1h 34m
After a businessman is murdered, an investigation identifies a suspect who is then put on trial for that crime.After a businessman is murdered, an investigation identifies a suspect who is then put on trial for that crime.After a businessman is murdered, an investigation identifies a suspect who is then put on trial for that crime.
The first part of the movie focuses on a detailed investigation. Numerous people would have had a motive to murder the wealthy businessman, including his secretary and secret girlfriend, his unfaithful wife, her ruthless lover and even his estranged son. The prosecutor and his assistants are very serious about this case despite immense pressure and workload. The interviews are done with care and precision since the prosecutor hopes to be promoted to work in Tokyo.
The second part of the movie shifts from a clever thriller to an emotional courtroom drama. The prosecutor believes that he has found the culprit who is charged with first degree murder. The protagonist has several key testimonies and pieces of evidence. However, the lawyer of the accused is equally clever and motivated. The antagonist creates a fake alibi for his client, intimidates witnesses and has impeccable rhetorical skills.
This movie is a testament of its time that criticizes criminal justice between the lines like Twelve Angry Men did in the United States of America only six years earlier. This film will make you feel very emotional as it leads to a thought-provoking conclusion. What impresses most however is how convincing, detailed and realistic the film is. It almost feels like a documentary as the story is particularly compelling and the actresses and actors become one with their diversified roles. Especially the prosecutor and the lawyer are two stunning lead charactes with very different means but the same goal. This duel between the protagonist and the antagonist is still exciting by today's standards.
While the predecessor in the series, the dynamic Black Test Car about corporate spies, has received some critical acclaim, this second entry in the series has often been overlooked just as the other nine movies. It's amazing that the first and the second entry in the series have recently been released by Arrow Media with some interesting bonus material and an informative booklet. In my opinion, this second entry in the franchise is even slightly better than the first film because the story is more realistic and the acting performances are second to none. If you like investigative thriller or courtroom dramas, you should definitely watch this overlooked gem that has stood the test of time.
- Jan 15, 2021