Tuesday, 3 December 2013

JAPANESE MOVIE FESTIVAL REVIEW: BRAIN MAN




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Tokyo is shattered with terrorist attacks. There’s a suspect in custody - a young man whose reactions and behaviour puzzle both police and medics alike. A young doctor has a task to analyse his mental state. What she uncovers she finds hard to believe and so she digs deeper into his past, while the real psychopaths slowly but carefully closing on her…

BRAIN MAN is based on a best selling novel, which explores the themes of forgiveness and saviour complex. But don’t look for much depth here. It is no more than enjoyable yarn that occasionally makes you think, and this is exactly what I want from my thrillers.

The main villain is quite unbelievable which ruins the film a little, but it will not stop you to hate her all the same. This young girl who blows up busses full of kids is incredibly annoying.  (no spoiler here by the way).

The music is a little too melancholic for a tightly scripted thriller (bing in Marco Beltrami please), but maybe I am just used to the haunting Hollywood scores too much.

In many ways it’s the novel-like structure that saves BRAIN MAN. The plot is always focused and the director seems to be in control and always leading you somewhere interesting. If nothing else the movie will make you seat on the edge of your seat wishing to know what happens next.

The mystery of a young emotionless killer is the centre of a story, and even though there will be no major revelations here, it unravels with a slow satisfying determination and a truly enjoyable process. Action will hit in in the final third of the film with a lot of explosions (according to producers the real pyrotechnics had been used - no CGI) and even though the final confrontation  in the underground garage cannot be called spectacular it is truly disturbing.

The movie doesn’t end there, and concludes one secondary story arc in style of Stephen King, which is a nice surprise.  All in all BRAIN MAN doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but is well written, directed and acted, an achievement for any blockbuster that we should praise.


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