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After a tragic car accident where his girlfriend Ryôko Ooyama (Nami Tsukamoto) died, Hiroshi Takagi (Tadanobu Asano) suffers amnesia with his memories completely blanked. When he sees a book about dissection, he decides to join the medical school with the support of his parents. In the dissection class, his group participates of the autopsy of a young woman, and while cutting apart the tissue, he partially recalls his accident. Later, when he sees a tattoo in the arm of the corpse, he discloses that she was his girlfriend and becomes obsessed to go further in the examination of the body.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I was mostly disappointed with this film. I'm a fan of Tsukamoto's other work, and while this film indicates his growth as a director, and has a strong cast, I felt it had issues with pacing, and a pretty dissatisfying ending.
Asano Tadanobu, normally an engaging lead, seems to be coasting through this film, brooding, mainly. Of course, maybe that's how his character was written, but I found myself wondering when it would pick up in several places and unable to identify with him.
Kunimura Jun is wonderfully powerful as Ryoko's father, and I wound up wishing he was more of a central character. I also felt Ittoku Kishibe, who can conjure a truly menacing screen presence, was rather wasted as Dr. Kashiwabuchi.
There are some interesting philosophical questions raised, but they are never really addressed or explored fully. I guess I'm also getting tired of the "I don't know whether I'm dreaming or awake" cliché in many movies in this genre. Plus, it's a little ham-fisted to have a character just come out and say that.
Vital contains a few interesting scenes involving a dance, and some of Tsukamoto's signature music video-style strangeness in a few places, but in summary, a slow, dark film with no real scares or thrills.
6 of 19 people found this review helpful.
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