Based on Haruki Murakami’s novel, Anh Hung Tran’s adaptation is a sumptuous experience, ’60s Japan as a dream-like world of beguiling interior design and stunning landscapes.In the novel, events are filtered through naive youth and the nostalgic 37 year-old narrator. His solipsism and fear of women infect the film, turning a lyrical exercise in cinema and sound into a cold fashion show representing all women as absolutely nuts.It’s hard to take, no matter how many perfect sofas and shorelines are on show.
It is a somber love tragedy that depicts the distortion of innocence, faithfulness and love in the guise of a detective mystery.
Yoshihiro Fukagawa does not display directorial flair in the early stages, playing safe with flat yet elliptical unfolding of Keigo Higashino’s complicated best-seller.
Only in the denouement does his sleuth-like attentiveness to detail and controlled revelation of secrets yield a devastating payoff.
The 149-minute duration and slow-burning mood will challenge Asia-phile viewers used to faster-paced and less cerebral genre conventions.
But the quality production and chance to see idol Maki Horikita in a more mature role could boost domestic box office and influence Asian distribution.
In 1980, a pawnshop owner named Yosuke Kirihara is found stabbed to death inside a locked warehouse.
The prime suspect is his adulterous wife, but she has 10-year-old son Ryoji as her alibi.
The cop-in-charge, Sasagaki (Eiichiro Funakoshi), shift their investigation to Kirihara’s mistress Fumiyo Nishimura, especially after her young daughter Yukiho offers implicating evidence.
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