15 January 2010 | fraser-rew
Police drama, Japanese-style
A widower's teenage daughter is murdered. A mysterious phone call tells him who the killers are and he plots revenge. Seems like just another prosaic police, victim and killers, good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, movie, right?
Well, yes and no. The difference between this movie and most of its genre is that the emphasis is on characters, not plot. The characters often make stereotyped (or implausible) choices, but the rationale is far more well-considered than it would normally be - there are no mavericks who know what is right and alienate anyone who disagrees, and the audience is never expected to go blindly along with the hero's motives, but is left to draw its own conclusions. In this sense it was very different from most similar American movies, in which such things are much more clearly, and often simplistically, defined.
There were flaws, and it was necessarily slow-moving at times, especially when it needed to show just how anguish the father was experiencing, but on the whole well worth a look.