Villain, or Akunin, is one of the best crime noir and emotional dramas that I’ve seen in a long time. Throughout the film I was questioning who was really being victimized and who was really being villainous. I found it a constant struggle to be sure I was sympathizing appropriately. I found it strange but rewarding to “feel” for a variety of characters who were tragically intertwined in this dark story. And I’m not the only one, as the film and it’s actors were nominated and won an array of awards, making it an acclaimed Japanese masterpiece directed by Zainichi Korean film director Lee Sang-il.
Who is the true “villain” here?
Villain is based on the 2006 novel “Akunin” written by Shuichi Yoshida who co-wrote the screenplay with director Lee Sang-il. The film showcases a superb cast led by Satoshi Tsumabuki and Eri Fukatsu. It also stars Hikari Mitsushima (“Sawako Decides“) and Akira Emoto (“April Bride“) who pulls off yet another convincing ‘father’ role. Kirin Kiki will make you cry, as much of the other content may bring you to tears (full cast). Tears out of a tragic love story, solitude, judgement and sadness. The film perhaps suggests that we are equally susceptible of being “the” victim or villain. It also dawns on the notion of ‘evil’ and whether or not people are truly bad.
Part of me had the feeling the film was glorifying murder and just inserting a “murderers have feelings too” plot line, but that was progressively and eloquently dismantled as I found it to be more about the beauty of love and the sadness of no love. Sentiments surfaced along side gripping scenes with subtly deranged and moving music, which was the 1/5 non-actor/actress awards garnered at the 34th Japan Academy Awards. Villain is a ridiculously enjoyable film that raises very personal questions that attempt to waiver beliefs, judgements and even morals.
aparoo’s words: drama, crime, murder, victim, villain, blame, emotion, judgement, solitude, lonely, connection, souls, evil, good, bad,
aparoo says 5/5
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