Elite lawyer Shigemori is compelled to defend Mikuma’s murder case. Already having a criminal record from a murder that took place 30 years before, Mikura now faces the death sentence after also confessing to the new murder charge. Yet, Shigemori begins to have doubts about Mikuma's guilt.
Cast & Credits
It is a very interesting film that explores the judicial system especially Japan's given its almost 99% conviction rate. It is a good look at how lawyers, the defendants, the victim and even the prosecution work. Indeed, the storyline is intriguing particularly of my fondness of courtroom/crime stories.
Koreeda tries his outmost best to keep his signature gentleness—using music. The opening scene is particularly a contrast. A brutal murder yet you have grand classical piece playing in the background and this goes on throughout the entire film. Perhaps this choice show meaning given its subject.
Koreeda has always been a show-don't-tell director and that's very very true here. The point is not to determine whether the lead is guilty or not but it's more sentimental—typical of Koreeda's film. It's always been about exploration, with more focus on its characters. Here, we get that too. And you have actors that Koreeda has worked with in the past to wrap the film up.
But my problem is The Third Murder just feels...dry. Now, Koreeda's film like I said, has always been about exploration. But My Little Sister for instance, while not having an impactful premise was at least...colorful. But The Third Murder felt too nihilistic for my taste that I found myself closing my eyes at times (because I was sleepy) or check my phone for the time.