As the Gods Will (2014) Poster

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As the Gods Will brings the morbid aspects of human's demise, presented with vibrant color, ironic laughs and healthy dose of horror.
quincytheodore27 May 2015
Based on manga with the same title, Kamisama no iu tôri (As the Gods Will) is a story of average high school students forced to play a series of deadly games. Takeshi Miike who has proved capable with such theme is the perfect pick to create a fascinating, occasionally humorous and gory live action of the manga. He has a distinct stylish visual, timely touch of horror and a proper respect to the original source.

For such grimly movie, the cinematography is very sleek and cool. Viewpoints from above and panoramic shots are used often to set the ambiance. Visual offers bloody gore with mildly tone down violence. For the part of full blood pool of the manga, this movie counterpart uses a more comical effect yet without neglecting the intensity of the scene. In fact Miike, as expected, produces a couple of nasty gruesome sequences of his own.

Humor and philosophical elements are steadily present. The first half sees more comedy for ironic purpose, as the story progresses and the death dealing intensifies the tone tends to be more serious. The movie has taken the liberty of creating more appropriate screenplay for later games. This is due to the fact that it might become overly complex for a feature length movie to display later arcs, and frankly it's not a cause for concern as the new screenplay is still presentable and keeps all the thrilling attributes of the manga.

Miike has a knack for the unassuming shift of tone, as seen from Crows Zero and 13 Assassins. Sometimes the movie would transition from quiet scene to a rather explicit one. It doesn't venture into dark territory too much, but it does warrant a mature rating. If there's any concern, it's that the nature of the games is highly inspired by Japanese culture, this might create a rather awkward narrative at some points though it's only a minor hindrance.

Equally quirky and disturbing, the myriad of bizarrely captivating games of death is brought to live by Takeshi Miike.
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Takashi Miike is an artist
firedace2 August 2015
At core, Takashi Miike's As The Gods Will may seem like another Battle Royale rip-off as we've seen oh so many times before but I don't exactly believe that to be the case.

The cinematography on one hand was gripping, the color scheme meshed so amazingly. This was a rather pretty movie to look at all things considered.

The acting was a bit weak from some of the minor characters but the actors for the main characters was great.

Now as for the movie itself, it was fun which really is all I demand of a movie. To be entertaining. I don't even think the premise was bad.

The concept of the gods playing games with humans in order to test their skills is something that has been around since ancient Greece, but this did it exceptionally well as it never felt too forced. If it had gone to great lengths trying to explain everything it would've ruined the feel of the movie.

It's a ride from the start to the ending, never once did I feel bored during it and there were several moments where it was actually suspenseful.

I know some film snobs might overlook this movie as not being good enough due to it being a bit silly, but I think they are missing out on a brilliant experience.

I recommend this movie if you just want to sit back and enjoy a suspenseful ride with charm, creepiness and gore.
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Disappointed film for Miike standard
bscale23 September 2021
Perhaps his film has been excited and entertaining, but this film is quite bland and cliche.

Not worth seeing this one, you better skip and see his other films.
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Stunning, twisty-turny, and NOT what you expect. The 'WTF did I just watch' guy totally misses the point... Rewatchability: Very High Blu-ray: excellent A:10 V:10
lathe-of-heaven23 July 2015
WOW! This is NOT my normal fare, let me tell you. Normally I would cross to the other side of the 'street' rather than watch many of Takashi Miike's films. BUT... I had indeed kind of braced myself for a bit of a cartoony gore-fest, although that is NOT my first choice in films. But, this premise was SO damn WAAAAAAAAY OUT there, that I just had to check it out.

Man, I truly do not know where to start... I am still kind of reeling a bit from the film, which I JUST finished. Well, firstly, it was not really that realistically gory or graphic; it mostly had a more cartoon-like vibe to it. And, regardless of the director's NOTORIOUS proclivity for extreme, sadistic violence (thus my normal avoidance of his films) this one honestly came off as not really that explicit or 'Real'. Other films of his where he has actual PEOPLE doing horrific, REALISTIC things to other people, I wouldn't come within 100 miles of, but based upon the extremely Fantastical premise, I figured that this would not likely be another one of his super heavy-handed Sadist- fests, and it truly wasn't.

YES, the basic premise of what these 'Gods' are doing to these students is of course in principle quite terrible. But, that really wasn't the point of the film; the primary focus was NOT just a big set-piece for a bunch of gory deaths, although those do happen, but for most part, with a couple of exceptions (where I did FF a bit) they were not graphic or overly explicit.

At the end, without giving anything away, you are left with a feeling that there are more layers to this than seems evident on the surface. As a matter of fact, the last minute or two actually left me kind of puzzled because I didn't quite understand what exactly happened (so I will be frigg'n LIVING on discussion boards until I find that out!) One underlying level of the film is fairly apparent concerning the one fellow learning to appreciate the life that he has (sort of a Psychedelic, Acid-induced 'IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE' by way of Takashi Miike) But, even beyond that there are other things touched upon and quite unexpectedly thought-provoking.

So, I can fully understand how some here (3/5?) who are likely VERY hard core Miike fans, would be BITTERLY disappointed that this is NOT one of his usual more horrific and sadistic films, and probably just find this one totally Stupid. Understandable... BUT... for me, NOT a usual fan of Miike, heh... what I would call by comparison a 'Normal' person (using the term VERY loosely) I think the movie if you give it some thought, actually is more intriguing and entertaining and surprisingly thought-provoking than what might appear at first glance.

So, I would say that if you are a hard core Miike fan and you really LIKE his usual hard core stuff, than this film will probably leave you flatter than Chaz Bono. BUT... If you like your Horror films REALLY Imaginative, and you aren't just looking for a bunch of torture-porn sadism, and if you can be patient and give the movie some thought, I think that many people will definitely come away from seeing this with several different feelings and levels that the movie touches in you that you would not expect...
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Good Movie
marcorivas5420 August 2017
Here is another good film by one of my favorite Japanese directors Takashi Miike. This film is based off a manga of the same name and shows the first arc of the manga. From the very beginning of the film it's really interesting and catches your attention unlike other films where the attention has to be caught sometime inwards. The basic premise of the film is students having to play games to survive and if you lost at these games you die gruesome deaths. There is a lot of blood and death and the characters in this film are a mix of actual people and CGI characters. I liked the CGI of the fictional characters in this film because it seemed to fit so well with everything. It's not like that completely horrible animation where it sucks.
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Some adaptational issues
lilpest929 September 2021
First we have to mention Takeru, the best character. As depicted here he doesn't have the sort of charisma or air of sexual violence you expect from Takeru. And they cut out the jumprope which sets him as an absolute monster and the tug of war which solidifies Takeru as the best. And especially in the last game there felt like there was too much direct antagonism between Takeru and Shun, Their conflict should be more philosophical.

The other Akimoto was also cut for no apparent reason which sucks.
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The ending is a massive downer
krusader8821 May 2021
I watched this film without reading the manga prior. I've watched some of Miike's ultraviolent movies before this but going in forward, i've not set any expections for this movie.

I'd like to mention the positive things first. I love Miike's violent movies. I think he's the best director for this genre, and there are a lot of em expecially in the first half of the movie. However, the black comedy moments seemed to shine the most in this film. I remembered laughing out loud in a few scenes in this movie and that's an impressive feat.

That's all the about the good stuff, unfortunately. The film was marred by a lot of terrible aspects. One of them was the antagonist. I believe it's a bad casting overall. The antagonist was portrayed as edgy and the actor seemed to hate this role. It was obvious he tried too hard and it ended up being cringe thorughout the film.

The absolute worst of this film is definitely the ending. It lead to more questions and plot holes, leaving all the viewers begging for answers. Let's just say it's the slimiest, hairiest balls that was shoved on your face. You'll get me when you get there.
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Musical Chairs
zuhairvazir21 May 2015
The synopsis to this toy store killing machine immediately brings an earlier Japanese film to mind, the ruthless and fumingly shocking 'Battle Royale, 2000' from auteur Kinji Fukasaku (Tora! Tora! Tora!, 1970). However Miike's film-cunning and dice rolls are perhaps simply far more simple than the keen viewer would like to imagine. Simple thus unworried, assured, extremely dark-humored, filled with rapid-fire philosophy and at least six blood banks blown to pieces.

Take the sound editing for instance. We know what has happened despite the event not being shown and instead replaced by an elementary sound or a children's song. 'As the Gods Will' is a director's nightmare, a feat only someTHING like Miike can execute.

Splattered with a plethora of psyched out colours and one of the few films where the CGI works like the crown wheel of the Oyster Perpetual, Miike's direction feels more confident as his obsession with Manga and Nao Ômori (Ichi the Killer, 2001) grows into a playful bear, the size of two Transformers, when they're not vehicles.

This film is filled with surreal images and evidently decapitated mannequins with floored extras mixed in with the lot. It is 'Maze Runner' meets 'The Running Man' inside Miike's Daedalian head. Perhaps that is an overstatement, probably I'm still thinking; 'but seriously, what's the deal here?'. However it may be, Miike has paid homage to ancient Japanese films of gore... I mean yore. Well not really, this seems more like the stop motion films from the Golden Age of Japanese cinema and director Ishiro Honda - but 'As the Gods Will' is sort of an antithesis to those films in terms of its antagonist's characterization and build up.

The director's films are far from subtle, including this baby cannibal elephant; however this time there is a certain calm undercurrent to the approach and style of the hypermanic Takashi Miike.

A strangely entertaining film that must be watched to further strengthen faith in the art of cinema.

Absolutely unbelievable.
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It beats Netflix's Squid Game
valeriezhang1129 September 2021
This movie came out earlier than Squid game but it does both CG and the original manga justice. Not only do they opt to lower the gore by making the blood scenes artistic with red beads, but it's an all around out of the park masterpiece in plot, transition, music score and cg effects!
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For Die Hard Asian Cinema Fans Only
truemythmedia29 May 2019
I wish I could say that this movie is worth watching but I really don't think it is except for the die hard asian cinema fan. For someone who likes anime, this might be up their alley but for the run of the mill movie goer, I really don't think it would be that enjoyable except for the first twenty minutes or so. The novelty wears off and none of the characters are much deeper than a Dragon Ball Z character. If you didn't get that reference, skip this one.
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Challenges requesting endurance, intelligence, imagination and luck
kluseba30 June 2018
Based upon a manga series of the same name, As the Gods Will is a fantasy horror movie directed by experimental filmmaker Miike Takashi. The story revolves around bored high school student Shun who prays for an exciting change of routine. His prayer seems to be heard but not exactly the way he expected it when the head of his teacher explodes one morning and is replaced by a speaking doll that forces the students to play a deadly game. This is only the beginning of a series of challenges requesting endurance, intelligence, imagination and luck. Shun tries to survive the series of deadly games with friends, opponents and complete strangers who cross his path. His goals are to survive, to help his partners and to find out why they are forced to play this game in the first place.

As the Gods Will is a wonderful movie for anyone who likes Japanese culture as the different games are related to Japanese traditional children's games with a deadly twist. The different games are creative, surprising and vivid and often offer surprising turns. The film convinces with tight pace and starts without a lengthy introduction as about twenty students die in the first ten minutes alone and keeps this steady flow until the very last scene that concludes the film well but offers enough room for a potential sequel. The characters are interesting and the actors play them very well. The most important characters are Shun who is admired by many of his peers but lacking self-confidence, his charismatic and dynamic childhood friend Ichika and psychopath Amaya who enjoys the deadly games and even tries to get as many players killed as possible. Even the animated characters like a speaking doll, a giant cat, floating wooden dolls, a drawn polar bear and a group of matryoshkas are quite diversified, intriguing and surprising. Seemingly unimportant side characters like a weird hermit and a homeless man with supernatural capabilities also have important roles to play outside the school building. The colourful special effects are nicely done and remind of the anime genre. The camera work is enjoyably calm, fluid and precise and avoids current shaky camera trends. The lighting techniques blend in very well and complement the diversified locations by adding some atmosphere to the film. The fitting soundtrack rounds this movie out perfectly. As the Gods Will is highly entertaining and you won't see the two hours passing by. I almost felt like watching this detailed movie again when it concluded and I will certainly watch it with some of my friends in the future. This movie isn't far from getting the perfect grade upon first impression.

To keep it short, if you like imaginative plots with fast pace and over-the-top diversity, you will certainly appreciate As the Gods Will. Remember that this is a quite brutal movie though and it's not because it's set in a high school that minors should watch it. The great thing about this film is that it remains surprising, intellectual and creative despite its breathtaking brutality. Give it a try!
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an entertaining return to form for Miike, though on a scale it's only kinda WTF-crazy-pants
Quinoa198413 June 2017
It had been a few years since I had seen a new Takashi Miike movie before somehow stumbling upon the trailer for As the Gods Will, which had such delightful and self-consciously silly visuals like a floating head (or a Doramus or whatever it's called) making teenagers heads explode - the blood is actually red marbles though so it's alright - or a talking Polar bear crushing other teens into mulch for being caught as liars. Seeing this was a very good reminder about how much fun Miike can have when he has some characters that he likes - and others he knows he can kill in some creative and occasionally gruesome ways - but it's also about translating a Manga to screen in a way that is... I won't say more "kid" friendly, but certainly more accessible than the transgressive and really bonkers Ichi the Killer, also based on a Manga. But as with most things, with Miike there is a curve.

So many of his films are bizarre WTF-fests that something like As the Gods Will gets kind of close to the top... ten perhaps, maybe not five, but that's saying just how insane he's taken the visuals and surrealism and fantasy in his past work - also see The Happiness of the Katakuris, Gozu or The Great Yokhai War for more examples, or any given Dead or Alive movie, mostly the first one - and how he could give less than a damn about good taste or morality, at least in the sense of offending imprudent tastes. With this, the parallels one might think to Battle Royale are apparent up front, with high schoolers being slaughtered left and right (though in this case one by one by a giant floating talking head that will only stop if, according to him/it, someone presses the big red button on the opposite side of its face), but there's also here a much cheerier version of Saw, where there are many "games" to play, but it's not like these students have been picked out for being bad or need to be taught lessons.

Matter of fact, its not totally clear why there are these objects like a giant cat that will kill the students in the gym it's at because, uh, there are mice costumes that need to be put on(!) or the Polar Bear or other floating dolls that sing songs and make one guess who is singing and so on. I think this is perhaps due to being a *very* Japanese movie (I haven't read the Manga, but also this movie is hard to track down in the US, it's only available as an import and even rarer to get to play on an American DVD player), and that there is not much at all explained in the way of why there are these... giant floating cubes ala the movie Arrival floating above major cities. Are there terrorist attacks? Nope, says a guy who looks like a Japanese Wario from the NES games; these are aliens... or are they?

Why are they coming to Earth to make teenagers play these life/death games? What do these "Gods" want from us? But on the other hand, hey, who cares? Miike gets us invested enough in the small handful of characters that seem to be liking, Shun being the main character who has lived a "boring" life before and is now having to think on his wits every moment of these games, so that we are focused on their will-they-won't-theys as they face off against these bizarro elements. The characters, including the punk Amayo who seems like he's ego-maniacal from minute one, are types, but the writers and Miike know how to make them into human beings that we can get behind in all of his, and as bat**** everything gets, we have them as an anchor, at least of a sort. So while there certainly could be just a little, even a small scene, where things could be explained (a friend I watched this with said more might come in a sequel, and good luck with all of that I say), and a small side character that is on the outside world, a shut-in, watching all of what's happening on TV could've had a little more going on with him, what the filmmaker does with these five acts (and it's really five, not three) is remarkable.

This is tenacious, entertaining cinema that will certainly delight those who are more accustomed to the... idiosyncrasies of Japanese genre cinema (bordering, or just, exploitation filmmaking, though Miike is a cut above, say, the guys who do like Tokyo Gore Police or the Machine Girl or schlock like that, he really cares about his shots and he has had for a long time a great sense of comic timing). There's even an element of, in short, if this were a Japanese anime/animated film, we probably might not think twice about 75% of what goes on here. That it's in live action makes it all the more purely Gonzo, and all the more of a fun time for it, albeit with a sad ending.
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Love this movie
dcbcvzdpx12 June 2021
I absolutely love this movie,definitely is in my top ten favorite movies.
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ofumalow19 October 2021
I frequently like Miike's films, and had missed this one--I only found out about it because of the accusations that it had somehow been ripped off by "squid Game," not that I've seen that series either--so I decided to give it a look. It's certainly well-crafted, but this is a case where his liveliness and skill as a director can't do much with material that is inherently silly and repetitious. It starts to wear out patience even in the first setpiece, and every successive one is the same thing: Another "god" in cutesy CGI critter form killing off teens in a "game" with arbitrary rules just cuz...well, because apparently gods don't have anything better to do.

The characters are too one-dimensional (and mostly too shortlived) to care about, the manga-based action too absurd to work up any real suspense, the action too absurd to be exciting. I admit I didn't make it to the end; there was absolutely nothing of value beyond the slick production values to hold attention. I'm giving it a 5 because it's the sort of "extreme" Japanese cinema some people like (which usually involves comely schoolgirls being slaughtered in "gory" yet patently unrealistic, CGI-heavy ways), but if you want anything more than that pretty dumb level of empty, colorful stimulus, it's one of Miike's least interesting projects. Of course, he makes so many, it hardly affects his batting average.
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Good Plot and too much over-acting
mc-hvnh21 September 2021
Honestly, i really like the plot. But those actors and actress made this movie is a trash movie with too much over-acting.
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Mildly disturbing SAW lookalike for teens
cesarecesarini15 June 2015
Seeing that it's based on a manga for boys and rising young popular actors were cast in it, obviously, this movie was targeted at 10s to early 20s. As such, the gore and violence was pretty tame for a Miike movie.

The death games that the high schoolers have to survive are so simple, thus not so interesting, but the opening sequence with the Daruma doll, where gore was replaced with 80,000 red marbles/bouncy balls, was well executed along the theme of child's play succeeding in creating surrealistic imagery and is considered as the highlight of the movie.

The CG was not so bad overall. I like the modeling of the Daruma doll with glaring bloodshot eyes. Also I like the twisted casting for the deadly matreshka dolls dubbed by the voice actors who play Doraemon and Jibanyan, 2 iconic anime characters loved by the nation.

Acting wise, feels like Ryunosuke Kamiki stole the show and the character played by Nao Omori was totally unnecessary.
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WTF did I just sit through?
grandmastersik15 July 2015
A fan of Miike's (the director), I thought I'd give this film a chance... wow, was that a mistake.

The beginning 10 minutes or so are insanely bad - not in a so-bad-it's-good way either, this is just god-awful. Tempted to turn it off, I was determined to sit through it to see if it improved and it didn't. I started to play on the 3DS to help get to the end - it's that bad!

The ending didn't have any kind of message and I can honestly say that I feel cheated for wasting 2 hours of my life on this turd.

Please, if you're a fan of Miike too, ignore the fact that this film even exists.
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I like it
agusac24 September 2021
Very interesting movie with blood and survival theme. Thanks to this, I want to read the continuation of the story.
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One word. Awesome
sivachennai13 August 2018
Mouse watch for a Japanese sci-fi fan.great story and twists
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do not give this movie a chance
hannabarbie-797364 June 2015
I watched the whole of it just because I'm that type of person.

I'm not one of those critics that goes to the movies just to find justifications for why they hate that particular film. I try to enjoy everything I watch and look for its good points and for that, I rate a lot of movies highly. I'd rate most of the films I've seen 7 and above out of ten, see how considerate I am? not in this one. this is just dumb and creepy and weird. please. spare yourself. no matter how intriguing the plot seemed, don't watch this.

I've seen elfen lied and battle royale. those are 9 out of ten for me. so don't think this is one of those deep gory masterpieces.
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One of the worst manga adaptation
mathieu-n2 February 2021
I'm really confused about the good rating of some review. Even if I watch movies with a really opened mind and I am really forgiving on liberty taken to straigh from originals source, this movie was really bad. Really poor acting, horrible CGI and story with way too many plotholes, did I mention bad acting?
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Good Enough
pennyelenabooks11 April 2019
As the Gods Will is a bloody movie. That said, the blood scenes, at least some of them, weren't that well executed, thus the gore was easier to watch. However, as there are many disturbing daeths, I wouldn't recommend it to someone who can't handle blood. For the story, the plot was nice and there were some interesting characters, especially the lead and that creepy secons lead. And the riddles were entertaining to watch, and not too difficult to follow. However, the ending was not as good. I guess what bothered me was that the movie never went deeper than the riddle part, like, why didn't they asked why this was happening and for what purpose. Also, the ending felt quite open, but there is no second movie of this, so I do have to cut points for that. So, six and a half out of ten.
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A must-watch
steelrose-8089325 August 2019
I enjoyed all aspects of this film and it's definitely my favorite Miike film. I won't write a super-long review but this was really cool and exciting. I loved it.
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As the Gods Will delivers its bizarre charm.
robbieclaravall18 May 2016
As the Gods Will is a rare and strange treat. It is, as other reviewers point out, a combination of Saw and Battle Royale with delightful humor and gore sprinkled throughout. I have to agree with that statement; this film delivers. It is weird but the type of weird that you'd recommend to other viewers who'd want to watch something totally different and refreshing than what we get in our cinemas nowadays.

It is absolutely intriguing; even from the start. It is the type of film that hooks you with its opening scene and just makes you guess all throughout the entire duration period, even up to the last minute. There are brutal games that follow one another as we watch this and the manner in which its played is truly creative and imaginative; a feast for the eyes and the senses filled with everything you'd possibly want in a Miike film.

Even the gore was done well. The slashing heads and dismembering; some done in a comedic way while others in a dramatic or suspenseful fashion. This film is the one that blends in dark humor; I'm usually very coy about that since most of the time it isn't done very well and comes off as being unrealistic. In here, I believe it's handled perfectly. The gritty gore is complemented by the humor, not a joke pulled off by a character (that will just honestly be strange considering the situation they're in) but because of the bizarre and outlandishness of it all. This film truly has charm amidst the deadly games, I'll admit that.

The only thing I'm picky about with this film is that I think they showed too much with the CGI. Personally it would've been better left off just because our minds would have a perfect imagination of some things this film tries to convey but instead it's shown and I wished they hadn't. I would've plucked some scenes out so that the viewer would be left to imagine how it'd look like for themselves.

Besides that, As the Gods Will is a delightful and a refreshing film. It certainly plays with the supernatural and has a little bit of everything sprinkled throughout. It is nihilistic in nature and chooses to stay like that for the entire film which increases its charm. It's a rare film I'll say, something that's memorable for its peculiarity. It works here entirely.
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annisamaghfira25 September 2021
I don't even know why i watched this movie. The plot of the story is so weird?????? I can't understand with people who gave 10 stars to this movie.

The beginning of the movie are confusing, insanely awful.
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