English Title: Confessions
Original Title: Kokuhaku
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director: Tetsuya Nakashima
Music: Toyohiko Kanahashi
Cinematography: Masakazu Ato, Atsushi Ozawa
I cannot even recall when was the last time I saw a Japanese film, but this highly-acclaimed one completely manages to blow my mind. Director Tetsuya Nakashima selects a lurid story and uses his surreal visual combination of innocence and violence, produces a distinctly stylized animesque film both disarmingly entertaining and questions the substantial capacity of vengeance and the social bottom line of the morality of human race.
The film gives me goose bumps non-stop by its disclosure of the vicious revenge plan, more frightfully is the inner logics of the two murderers, as under-13 school kids, they mercilessly took the life of an innocuous girl’s life for their particular reasons, which severely underlines the abnormalities lie in the family, the system and the society. How to dilute the appalling premise into an acceptable solution without having a sting in the tail, is the main obstruction in front of the director. Thankfully the film bracingly brakes before turning into a massacre hodgepodge. The cinematography here sufficiently takes advantage of one’s imagination to take tons of MV-tagged shots to fabricate a meaningful yet unholy urban fable.
Frankly speaking, the acting is semi-cartoonish, but Takato Matsu emancipates an astounding power from her deadpan-cum-ruthless performance as the mother/teacher seeks for a just retribution; on the contrary the juvenile cast is fitting but a little bit strained as the subject might be too formidable for them grasp as a whole.
All in all, the film is uncompromising, novelty-ejaculated, meanwhile offers its viewers some contemplation on what happens today in the world, which not only apply to Japan, but also to the whole globe.