Twelve-year-old Koichi, who has been separated from his brother Ryunosuke due to his parents' divorce, hears a rumor that the new bullet trains will precipitate a wish-granting miracle when they pass each other at top speed.
Ryota is a successful workaholic businessman. When he learns that his biological son was switched with another boy after birth, he faces the difficult decision to choose his true son or the boy he and his wife have raised as their own.
Members of a cult, modeled on Aum Shinrikyo, sabotage a city's water supply, then commit mass suicide near the shores of a lake. Family members of those affected by it meet at the lake to observe the anniversary of their loved ones' deaths.
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
Justice is more a role of the dice than we expect.
Fresh from a third murder and freely admitting the crime, Misumi is in a surprising state of calm when first speaking to his defense attorney Shigemori. This strange behavior combines with inconsistent testimony and shifting motives to give Shigemori an unsettling feeling about his client. "Don't waste your time trying to figure him out," Shigemori is warned "let him get what he deserves." But this does not sit well with him either. Instead Shigemori attempts to understand Misumi and indulge his changing whims. Perhaps in this way they can get to the truth and the real heart of the matter.
The machinery of justice is complicated, time consuming and unwieldy. Finding the truth is more difficult than imagined. Justice is often by default. The Third Murder explores how futures are decided for people with little heed to what is done by, for and against them. The insight into the Japanese justice system is intriguing. Wonderful acting is complemented by creative camera work. There are frequent and beneficial pauses that give space for reflections and to soothing ambient sounds such as the wind in the tree branches. Still, some scenes are difficult to figure out even after turning them over in my mind continuously.
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