Starring: Takako Matsu, Masaki Okada
Friday 18 February 2011
Based on a Japanese mystery novel, this macabre tale of revenge is hard to watch, not because of its violence but because of Tetsuya Nakashima's wearying obsession with style.
Seldom have I watched a film with so much "poetic" slow motion. Takako Matsu plays a schoolteacher who surprises her raucous class with the news that her four-year-old daughter's death was not an accident – she was killed by two pupils in the room. She then puts in train her own sick plan of vengeance. As well as the slo-mo, the film plays tricks with sound, dropping voices to a barely audible whisper and turning up the soundtrack music, including a horrible whiny dirge by Radiohead. The whole thing is so pretentiously shot you sometimes wonder if Nakashima is having a laugh at art-house manners, but the elaborately nasty revenge argues otherwise. They clearly don't have Ofsted in Japan, by the way.
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