'Jigoku'; a portrait of hell- one man's rendering, anyway. Nakagawa paved his road to hell with crisp color, crimson reds and emerald greens, deep blacks and pale whites. The characters of the film seem to be (ironically) illuminated by an angelic light, at times literally blinding to viewers, scenes transitioning without warning from pitch-black darkness to bright white light. This being said,...↓
For some reason, I can't disassociate this film from an unrelated nightmare I had months after seeing it where I had a terrible death/vomit/rotten tuna-fish taste in my mouth... I can't even look at screenshots without imagining the taste! What the heck?
it's kinda disturbing when you're watching this and you imagine yourself suffering in the bottomless hell and stuff. truly is. the scene where Shiro meets Yukiko in the Sanzu River is utterly heartbreaking and beautiful. my doubts about this film turned to awe in the final third.
The problem with Jigoku lies with its lack of narrative thrust. Japanese cinema of this era was divided so artistically and culturally that many films were hit and miss-there was not much of a middle ground. While the last third of Jigoku is visually stunning, and I love the depiction of the Buddhist hell, it was not very frightening because I did not care about the characters, nor was I given any reason to do so.
had its moments of brilliance but overall I found this film to be overtly pretentious for some reason. i dont remember much as this review should have been written 6 months ago when i saw the film, but that explains the situation. A good film is memorable, and this surely wasn't for me.