Monday, 2 December 2013

JAPANESE MOVIE FESTIVAL REVIEW: THE DEVIL'S PATH





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THE DEVIL’S PATH is a thriller based on actual events, but according to the opening credit note none of the characters of the film are real people. The story revolves around a journalist Fujii who investigates claims of a death row prisoner Sado that he was not the only one to commit his crimes. He refers to this companion as Doc (teacher) and according to Sado’s testimony he was the real mastermind behind the crimes. Fuji begins investigation, determined to uncover the truth. But is he being sent on a wild goose chase by a man ready to do anything to postpone his death sentence?

THE DEVIL’S PATH has a rather frustrating structure with an hour long “FLASHBACK” inserted in the middle of it. We do not need to know all the horrific details of each crime committed and in truth it has only slowed down the pace of the movie. But if you manage to go through some very detailed and disturbing scenes of abuse you will definitely be rewarded. The story is not original but has an interesting intake on the origins of evil. Sado and his companion commit their atrocities without second thought, almost just like our protagonist and fighter for the truth Fujii is ignoring growing unsettlement at home. Has he been turning away from his loved ones for too long?

Takayuki Yamada (Fujii) gives a very one sided and unlikable  performance of a young man in distress, finding only distraction from his hard life at home in chasing his perfect villain.  

The killer Sudo (Pierre Taki)  does a quick transformation from humbled to enraged whenever it is required and his larger than life charisma will make you worry, that you could actually like this kind of a monster.

Lily Franky in the role of Doc will make your stomach turn, he is one of the most hate inspiring villains I have seen on screen.

With it Silence Of The Lamb sort of set up DEVIL’s PATH fails to deliver in term of action, but with its slow movement reaches to us nonetheless.

As the movie progresses we realise that punishment can never fit the crime as the victims cannot be brought back from the dead.

Is Fujii’s obsession to punish the guilty a way to begin the DEVIL’s PATH of his own?



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