Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:30 am 
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HIROKAZU KOREEDA: THE THIRD MURDER (2017) - SFIFF

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MASAHIRO FUKUYAMA, KÔJI YOKUSHO IN THE THIRD MURDER

A protracted examination of guilt and, as an afterthought, justice.

Max Shilling in Japan Times heralded The Third Murder as a welcome relief from popular Sherlock Holmes-style Japanese puzzle stories that is, instead, a serious treatment of motive that begins as a legal proceedural. It is this. The accused has killed the owner of a factory where he works. Was robbery the motive, or was he killing on instructions from the man's wife, or was it to protect and avenge the man's abused daughter, or something to do with the factory's devious practices? Did he even do the crime, which he initially confesses to? The trouble is that Misumi (Kôji Yakusho), the surprisingly pleasant and charming accused man, changes his story so many times one begins to lose any sense of a fixed sequence of events. There is fascination in the interactions of the legal team, and eventually between Misumi and chief lawyer Shigemori (Masaharu Fukuyama). But not really one of Korreda's very best efforts.

The Third Murder 三度目の殺人 (Sandome no satsujin), 124 mins., debuted at Venice Sept. 2017. 10 other fests including Toronto, Mumbai, and Vienna, and it was screened for this review as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival in Apr. 2018. Metascore 68%.

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