6 May 2009 | claudio_carvalho
Master of Manipulation
The writer and college professor Alexandre Fayard (Benoit Magimel) studies and gives lectures about the gruesome literary work of the mysterious Japanese writer Shundei Oe that is considered by him the master of manipulation. In his underground detective novels, evil always prevails and Shundei Oe has never allowed anyone to see his face, and his only image available is a frightening picture on the back of his best-sellers. Alex travels to Kyoto to promote his successful detective story that follows the same style of the Shundei Oe but with a positive message instead and meets his publisher Ken Honda from the publishing house Hakubunkan. While in an interview in a TV show, Alex receives a phone call from Shundei Oe that advises him to return to Paris, and Alex believes it is a marketing strategy of Ken. Then Alex and Ken go to a tea house where he meets the Masochist geisha Tamao (Minamoto Lika), and Alex has a crush on her. Tamao discloses to Alex that she knows Shundei Oe and his real name is Hichiro Irata; further they were lovers when she rejected his proposal many years ago. From this moment on, Hichiro Irata loathed her and vanished. When she got pregnant of the wealthy and powerful business man Ryuji Mogi (Ryo Ishibashi), Shundei Oe returned and stalked her. Alex decides to help Tamao and Ryuji Mogi against the menace of the deranged writer, and his mind is blurred between fiction and reality in dreadful nightmares.
"Inju, La Bête Dans L'Ombre" is flawed, but also mysterious and intriguing. The story is supported by good screenplay with murders and twists, direction and performances and a wonderful cinematography. Unfortunately there are very few characters and based on the explanation of Alex that Shundei Oe would be the master of manipulation, I could predict the identity of the bleak writer that recalled the unforgettable conclusion of "Body Heat". Nevertheless this movie is engaging and highly recommended. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Inju, O Despertar da Besta" ("Inju, The Awakening of the Beast")