Memoirs of a Murderer
- 1h 58min
A television reporter and a detective try to track down a serial killer known as the Tokyo Strangler.A television reporter and a detective try to track down a serial killer known as the Tokyo Strangler.A television reporter and a detective try to track down a serial killer known as the Tokyo Strangler.
A newly introduced 15 year statute of limitations law has left the Tokyo police force frustrated at their inability to capture the notorious Tokyo Strangler, who in 1995 brutally murdered five victims in front of witnesses from their own family. In 2017 however, now no longer able to be tried for his crimes, the killer reveals his identity when he comes forward to promote a book that describes the killings in detail. The handsome murderer Masato Sonezaki immediately becomes a media sensation and a celebrity , embarking on a series of book signings and TV interviews where he mocks the police for their incompetence and failure to capture him. Detective Makimura is outraged, as are the families of his victims who long for justice, but suspicions start to emerge that the celebrity killer is actually a fraud.
Yu Irie's reworking of the Korean original rightly doesn't forgo the simple pleasures of the thriller by attempting to make it more credible or realistic, but Memoirs of a Murderer does try to place the themes in some kind of meaningful context in regards to Japanese society. 1995, the year of the Strangler's killings, is significant as it is also the year of the Kobe earthquake, and although the connection might be tenuous, references to this event do succeed in tapping into sentiments of trauma and guilt, as well as the idea of forces beyond our control that cause unjust, inexplicable and indiscriminate horror. It also challenges the society's unhealthy worship of the cult of celebrity that is whipped up and exploited with some dynamically staged scenes that take place in the full sensationalised glare of the media.
There's really no need for subtext or justification required however for Memoirs of a Murderer; its intentions are purely to provide entertainment in a non-stop jaw-dropping thriller. Irie's manga and anime -influenced pacing, characterisation, exposition and staging of the drama is dynamic and gripping, never leaving any room for the viewer to start questioning credibility when it's tricky enough to just keep up with the outrageous succession of constantly shifting twists and revelations.
- Jan 27, 2018