Why Not to Watch the Netflix 2017 Film Adaptation of Death Note
The Death Note story is based on the manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Ohba. It is a widely popular series which went on to become an anime, a drama and also had several live action Japanese films. This 2017 Death Note film, a ‘Netflix Original Film’, has failed to capture the true likeness of the original story, from bad casting and badly adapted writing of the original outline and execution of storytelling. The internet is currently roasting this new film and I don’t blame them! (If you are not familiar with Death Note, there are some storyline spoilers ahead)
Light Yagami is a handsome and articulated genius who develops a literal god complex after he comes into possession of Ryuk’s (a Shinigami Death God) Death Note Book. He goes on to become the fearful Kira who punishes those stained and tainted by evil deeds by penning their names into the death note, which has a purposeful set of rules but also kills whoever's name is written in it.
While his purpose might have been well intended early on, Light soon becomes corrupted by his desire to be a God of the ‘New World’
From manga, to the anime adaptation and then the Japanese Live Action films, the Death Note story could be described as a fan favourite worldwide. So why mess with a good thing?
Well seeking to latch onto a fan base that has mass appeal, but perhaps not fully understanding those fans might have been a first mistake with this production with this adaptation. Secondly, the story diverts greatly from the original, leaving out many key characters who lived and died in the series that built the momentum of Kira and the psychological battle between Light vs L. This is not what you will find in this film.
It appears in this rendition that Ryuk encourages Light ‘Turner’ played by Nat Wolff to use the Death Note. Whereas in the original, Light Yagami examined it by his on curiosity before taking the official Death Note Plunge into becoming Kira! We lose Light to a dumbed down characterization, who is paid to do the homework of other students.
In this story Light has lost his mother (the original story, Light has a mom and sister) and tries to separate his work as Kira from his family. The back story in this film falls apart and thus bears nothing of the essence and presence of the original Light Yagami who was immaculate and meticulous; this Light Turner is disheveled, sloppy and is not the methodical, calculating skeptic who thinks 10 steps ahead.
L, while various ethnic portrayals are fine from cosplays to this film. Somehow this L played by Lakeith Stanfield failed to deliver the quirky, genius with that lovable and unorthodox personality.
Despite the brief sweet tooth cravings that were implied in this rendition, fans of the original really hold L dear and are not buying into this one! What do we miss about L, that unkempt hair, slouchy clothes and outside of the box cleverness. Fans are used to seeing an L who absorbs every little detail surrounding him and strategically puts everything together like a puzzle!
Ryuk, might have been the only one to remain unscathed by a poor portrayal, who better than William Dafoe (Spider-man’s Green Goblin) to voice Ryuk in this feature.
(Ryuk from Anime, to live action to the 2017 version)
Brian Drummond voiced Ryuk in the English Dub and brought Ryuk to life for North American Audiences in the anime series for those who did not watch the original Japanese with subs. While Nakamura Shido voiced Ryuk in the Japanese Anime and for many is the only Ryuk. Jun Fukushima provided the voice of Ryuk in a live action adaptation.
Do you think this Death Note missed the mark? Fans are certainly speaking their mind on it, but for me it was a sad attempt at trying to do justice to something that is already great!
Review Rating: 0/10
Time to stick an apple in it, it's done!
What would the actual Light Yagami think of this mess? XD
Check out the trailer for it here:
What are your thoughts on the new Death Note film?
Did you like it? Or hate it?