If i'm not mistaken, for more than 2 years it didn't commercially premiere a Japanese film in Lisbon and it's still from the same director that this phenomenon happens. Loving so much this director's "Maborosi", i should launch rockets, but no. Much seduced by academism and rhetoric language and music, only in the moments of the conversations between the criminal and the defense lawyer in prison this film arises.
Reviews have been mixed, given this is dark territory for Koreeda. I believe its detractors have missed the point, failing to even understand the meaning of the title. The director's humanism is very much alive here, even in the midst of deceit and despair; it's just delivered with the resignation of a condemned man. Truth is unknowable and perhaps we don't deserve to know when willing to mete out judgment on a life.
There’s nothing wrong with experimenting new directions and Koreeda should be praised for his courage. Notwithstanding, his inspiration and originality find a more suitable vehicle in the gentle, human dramas that everyone can relate to.
there are some things that make the first time directly label "this is very hollywood", with scoring given from the beginning. And again this is the first time Kore Eda movie that I watched was a mystery genre, although the outline is always with the family but like losing half Kore Eda. The final part is too subjective with a shot standing in the middle of the road is quite representative. Not bad all
From one of my favourite directors, arguably one of his more baffling works. In all of its construction it resembles an American thriller, nordic noir, TV movie even. When its reach extends much further - biblical allusions, Bressonian mirrors - I'll admit it was unclear to me what pointed critique he was aiming at the legal system and individuals within. Might be worth a rewatch but also dull. 2.5
My best Koreeda film to date--I have only seen three. What an amazing story/original screenplay conceived by the director. And to do that film after film is not easy. In each film, he writes original scripts, edits and directs. Spectacular outcome for any viewer who watches for details! My full review is at https://moviessansfrontiers.blogspot.com/2018/07/223-japanese-director-hirokazu-kore.html
3.5 Slow but very interesting, especially the dialogues between Misumi and Shigemori. Makes you think about what is truth, the worth of life and how it is judged. What is right and wrong and what do you want to believe? What is the motive?
The final images of overlapping reflections are very powerful and stayed with me. Beautiful soundtrack by Ludovico Einaudi.