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Kanako, a beautiful girl and one of the best students at school, goes missing with all the belongings left behind in her room. Her father Akikazu is now asked by his ex-wife to look for their daughter. He starts a desperate search of Kanako using any means, in the hope of getting his "ideal" family back in place despite the fact that the very reason of the family breakup was because of his problematic personality and behaviors. Following tracks of her past and present and talking to her "friends," he starts to get to know his daughter whom he never knew or didn't even attempt to know. When Akikazu is led to one clue, he realizes the world Kanako was facing beyond his imagination... Can the father find his daughter, and get back his perfect happy family he has dreamed of after all these years?Written by
Busan International Film Festival
Disturbing, depressing and desperate reality of a sick society
It is very violent. More than that, it is disturbing, depressing and desperate. We follows our protagonist, former detective and divorcée Akikazu Fujishima (Koji Yakusho) as he searches for his missing daughter Kanako (Nana Komatsu) and learns about her secret life. Through this search, different dark sides of the society emerges which make you antsy in your seat.
The more we go along, the more disturbing and depressing the movie seems to portray. None of the characters are lovable. All the institutions: family, police, and schools are malfunctioning. The movie depicts a sick society which appears to be OK but is buried with lots of problems where people are betraying each other and families are and non-communicative and destructive.
All characters are pathetic in different ways though they may not be innately devilish. Somehow something goes wrong and everything falls into this big chaos or trap where people do not know how to show their care or use the wrong way to show their love which end up causing more damage as they resort to violence and betrayal.
A very sad movie that paints a tragic side of Japanese culture, or can it happen in any culture, regardless of economic development? People yearning for love, care, respect and recognition and identification, but what they meet is betrayal, ignorance, bullying, and violence. Very twisted characters and relationships that make you feel so disappointed and horrified with humanity.
On the surface, or in the beginning, you see angels who seem to be your revelation. Kanako appears to be such an angel. But not until his cop father starts to look into her disappearance does he realize how much he understands/misunderstands his daughter, ditto his wife and vice versa. Similar misperception happens at school and in the police station.
Perhaps it just serves as a warning sign to us all: in many ways the people around us could just be like that if we hit the wrong button. Look at all the random shootings in the US. And the terrorist attacks. We would not know when they will turn against us and we just have to constantly remind ourselves to be alert.
Very good acting of the cast in creating a haunting atmosphere. I would not like to befriend with any of the characters.
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