Misumi has a criminal record dating back many years and is now under the spotlight again. It looks like an open and shut case, for Misumi has confessed to the new charge. Enter prominent lawyer Shigemori, who harbours other ideas, which could mean the difference between life and death.Written by
I don't want to pretend not to see, like my mother.
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Very good...but the pacing will create a problem for many viewers
In recent years, Hirokazu Koreeda has been among the most exciting and interesting Japanese filmmakers. In movies such as "Like Father, Like Son", "Our Little Sister" and "Shoplifters", he tells marvelous stories about seemingly ordinary and non-cimematic sitations....stories about real people and about problems which you rarely hear about in Japanese movies. Here, in a bit of a change of pace, Koreeda takes on a story about murder....and it's complex, strange and ultimately worth seeing. Sadly, however, the pacing is glacially slow...and many viewers ultimately might give up on the film before its conclusion.
The story is about a group of lawyers who have been a pretty hopeless case to defend. It seems a man has pled guilty to murder and burning a corpse...and he's done little to help himself avoid the death penalty. In addition, his story is very inconsistent and keeps changing. Inexplicably, instead of just going through the motions as most lawyers would do in a case like this, Shigemori keeps digging to learn exactly what did happen and why...and, not surprisingly, it's not what the case originally seemed to be.
The story is slow....very, very slow. For non-Japanese audiences, this slowness makes watching the film with subtitles a bit tough...and I found myself drifting off on occasion. My advice is to stick with it....the twist is shocking and exposes some issues rarely addressed in films...especially Japanese films. Not surprising, as Koreeda seems to enjoy addressing topics which other Japanese filmmakers avoid.
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