Takakura is a former detective. He receives a request from his ex-colleague, Nogami, to examine a missing family case that occurred 6 years earlier. Takakura follows Saki's memory. She is the only surviving family member from the case.
Meanwhile, Takakura and his wife Yasuko recently moved into a new home. Their neighbor, Nishino, has a sick wife and a young teen daughter. One day, the daughter, Mio, jumps into Takakura's house and tells him that the man is not her father and she doesn't know him at all.
Cast & Credits
It's not a plot we've never seen before but once you get to the end you realise that it's executed in a way that feels fresh and doesn't follow the usual introduction-climax-final showdown-resolution formula that's often rehashed in this kind of film. There were a few things that I wish were expanded on and explained further but the film progressed in a way that made sense and I found the ending to be well-executed and satisfying enough. I think it's worth watching as long as you're not deadset on looking for fast action-packed sequences.
It employs the trademark Japanese-style filmography in that sequences are slow and drawn out with ample silences filling in gaps. In my opinion though, this style aids in building up the suspense and your own sense of uneasiness while it slowly unravels details that make for several "oh shit" moments that begin to crawl under your skin. For this, I think the lack of music is employed as an audial effect in itself, with minimal atmospheric background noise adding to the sense of discomfort.
The cast was brilliant, all veteran actors who know exactly what they're doing and are clear with their characters' intentions. Even the younger actresses and the other neighbour were great in portraying strange and unsociable people. I wish the writing had added a little more depth and dimension to Takeuchi's character other than "standard housewife", but she was great with that she was given.
Because it's not particularly frustrating nor is it too emotionally draining, I'd probably watch it again because I found it the right amount of tense, gripping and enjoyable to follow along with, and I would probably recommend it to others.
For the story, i'm going to give it an 8.5. I like the plot but the way they extend it was not great! I'm super resentful about it.
The actors did a great job executing their characters well especially Nishino-san (Kagawa Teruyuki). He makes his sinister character seems natural. They did really great and I couldnt ask for other actors to play their roles.
Music? There's nothing special about in fact, I havent even heard a music I think haha. It's all like a daily life basis which they wouldnt stress out the music.
And nope! I dont think I would watch it again. I wouldnt even dare to see Kagawa's character ever again. Such a psychopath.