Dir: Hideo Nakata
Starring: Masato Hagiwara, Ken Mitsuihi, Miki Nakatani, Jun Kunimura
Like Ring, this has been bought for a Hollywood remake, supposedly starring Benicio Del Toro and Robert De Niro, with Jonathan (Sexy Beast) Glazer behind the camera. Hard to see how this would work, without untangling the cripplingly twisted story structure, which continually pulls the rug from under the viewer. It starts off by showing the immediate aftermath of a kidnapping, then folds back to show the lead-up to it, then further back to reveal what triggered everything, before coming back to the present, and the consequences of it all. Only then, does it all really make sense, and I’m not sure multiplex audiences will have the patience.
Indeed, not sure we had either – it’s like putting together a shattered mirror, you are as likely to get cut as achieve success, and it’s questionable whether the results merit the effort. As it carefully unfolds, the plot is enormously intriguing, but with the exception of the kidnapper (Hagiwara), seems to develop at the expense of characterization. I know mistaken identity is an important part of the plot, but the two women involved are so similar as to be all but indistinguishable. It’s all very distancing, and prevents the film from being as effective as its well-constructed storyline deserves.