Monday, June 6, 2011

Confession aka. Kokuhaku [review]

What is life to you?

Is life precious?

That was the last lesson Yuko gave to her class during her final session. Everyone else was obviously not listening and busy with their own chats. They had just been given free milk cartons from the government to promote the sales among middle school students.

As she went on and on about how important life is, and how one should not think lightly of it, you can't help but wonder what was it really that she wanted to deliver. Don't worry about the preach because you just get really absorbed to the topic as she slowly moved into the heart of the topic. When she began talking about how children under 14 years old are protected by the Juvenile Law and how it's their one and only strongest ally, you began to think a rather serious and dark topic was at hand here.

Then, came the bomb from the sky. She revealed how she once had a daughter, and how she turned 4 when she was murdered by two of the students in her class. The way she presented this speech so calmly and so indifferent-like is something that makes you feel the chill to the bones. Of course the effects also helps a lot in this movie. But I'll go on to that later.

So she told them her life story. How the father of her child had AIDS, but miraculously, both her and her child did not contract it.

Side Note: The child actor as her daughter is adorable. She's one of the best youngest child actors in Japan now I believe and I can see a bright future for her if she continues in this line of work.
As she told them more and more, revelations of how she found out the kids who murdered her only child, the director showed us scenes of the past, how the events unfold.
The movie is filled with a lot of slow-mo effects and this soft music playing in the background, a bit haunting, but not the scary type. And as you can see, the colours chosen for this movie is fitting as well. Dark, gloomy and brooding with solemness.

So how to punish kids not punishable by the law? How to make them understand how life is not to be messed around with so lightly?

This is such a wonderful depiction of the HIV-infected blood flowing through the milk. Nice scene. I think if you've read what I wrote above, you'd have figured out the way.

And with that, she left the class. From then on, began ripple effects from the incidents. I'd like to think of the actions in the movie are similar to the butterfly effect theory. Because of student A's mother abandoning him, student A had always wanted to show her his talents in electronics too like her mother. And because of the hunger for love and attention from his mother, he began inventing dangerous electronics that caused the death of an innocent 4 year old. Not without the help of Student B of course.

So everyone thought both students had contracted HIV and he was bullied constantly. I think bullying has often been depicted well in Japanese dramas ever since forever. One scene was this below that caught my attention.

Student A was forced to kiss the class representative for not going along with the bullying.

As I don't want to spoil it for you, this movie is worth watching. It's not the usual slow-paced japanese movies and I usually fast-forward them but this, this made me wanna re-watch for some reason. The story of course didn't end just with the HIV thingy. That was just the beginning of the strings of events that occur till the end where finally, she got the revenge she wanted. Not that I'm taking her side for doing these but those kids need to be waken up for what they'd done.

I think the movie's suitable for kids who just don't get how precious life is. I'd recommend parents letting them watch this movie and it'll remind them of how, your life doesn't matter too if you meddle with others' lives. That people can get back to you too the same way, or in this matter, worse than you can ever imagine.

Overall: Dark. But everything fits the atmosphere. I salute the director or whoever suggested all the slow motions in this movie. Without them, the effects wouldn't have worked as they did to convey the message. Everyone, I mean, all the actors, adult or kids did awesome jobs for their characters. I don't dare to wonder if the kids who portrayed such dark characters will somehow be affected though in the process. One of the best movies in Japan definitely for the year. No wonder they submitted it to the 2011 academy awards.

And here are just a few of the slow mo's...

Nice sky.

Final remark: Watch it.

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