[ Directed by ]
[ Cast ]
• INOUE Mao SHIRONO Miki
• AYANO Go AKABOSHI Yuji
• Nanao MIKI Noriko
• KANEKO Nobuaki SHINOYAMA Satoshi
• ONO Erena MITSUSHIMA Eimi
• TANIMURA Mitsuki MAETANI Minori
• SOMETANI Shota HASEGAWA
• RENBUTSU Misako KARINO Risako
• KANJIYA Shihori TANIMURA Yuko
• NAMASE Katsuhisa MIZUTANI
[ Staff ]
• Original Story: MINATO Kanae
• Screenplay: HAYASHI Tamio
• Cinematography: KOBAYASHI Gen
• Editor: KAWASE Isao
• Music: YASUKAWA Goro
[ Production Company ]
SHOCHIKU, Shochiku Broadcasting, SHUEISHA, East Japan Marketing & Communications, PIA, HAKUHODO, GYAO!
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
Release Date: March 29, 2014
Running Time: 126 min
Genre: Mystery , Feature
Screening Format with Subtitles
[ Story ]
A live-action adaptation of bestselling author Minato Kanae’s suspense novel, depicting individuals threatened by irresponsible rumors and reporting regarding a brutal murder. Employing the assistance of modern communication tools such as Twitter, it presents a vivid and multilayered portrait of human malice.
A beautiful cosmetics company employee is found dead in a gruesome state. What’s more, it becomes apparent that one of the victim’s colleagues, a homely woman named Miki (Inoue Mao), has gone missing. Television director Akaboshi (Ayano Go) attempts to interview as many of Miki’s friends and acquaintances as he can find, eliciting miscellaneous information from them.
[ Official Site ]
[ Film Festivals, Awards ]
• 2014 Hong Kong International Film Festival
• 2014 Shanghai International Film Festival
• 2014 Toronto Japan Film Festival
• 2014 Fantasia International Film Festival
The charred corpse of Noriko, an attractive employee of a cosmetics company, is found in a forest. From the investigations, the young woman appears to have been stabbed numerous times. At the instigation of an acquaintance as well as a colleague of the same Noriko, a young and inept intern with a television station, ambitious but more interested in social networks than in his own work (which he does with little professionalism), puts himself on the tracks of Miki, she which, according to the opinions of many of the victim’s colleagues and acquaintances, appears to be the main suspect. The maze of conjectures is however more intricate than expected, and the media and the network only further numb the waters.
Although most of his most recent films indulge in the forms of a dazed and moving comedy, the thriller and the mystery have always played a major role in the filmography of Nakamura Yoshihiro, without any doubt one of the most eclectically prolific Japanese directors among those rose to prominence in the 2000s. With The Snow White Murder Case, the director who, we remember, made his debut as a writer and director of J-Horror, returns once again to dark atmospheres congenial to him, creating a thriller with perfectly oiled mechanisms (even when he loosens the tension to give himself a long digression), without giving up altogether to launch, as usual, a careful and ironic look at contemporary Japan.
The film is a transposition of a novel by Minato Kanae, author of the novel The Confession, already happily brought to the screen by Nakashima Tetsuya, whose prose based on complex and fragmentary architectures is well suited to Nakamura’s favorite narrative patterns (particularly in his conclude with an illuminating “backward” revision of an otherwise unfathomable affair). Also in this case, by adopting the form of a multifaceted and often contradictory choral story, the writer reveals an intricate reality, subject to continuous questioning. For its part, the direction of Nakamura cleverly and intelligently feeds this equivocal image of the real by conferring, to Rashomon, equal dignity to the different versions on the incident, which are not hierarchized, but taken in the same way, without language solutions that give greater plausibility to this or that sequence.
This equation / confusion of real and imaginary, objective and subjective, is not at all foreign to the director, who in fact seems to be particularly at ease in dealing with matter. Similar was for example the role taken by the media in Golden Slumber, but already the appreciable thriller of the beginning The Booth, in which Nakamura demonstrated a certain skill in the construction of suspense, was based entirely on the sense of progressive paranoia that, overlapping with reality itself , he clouded the mind of the leading dee-jay.
In the specific case of The Snow White Murder Case, the chaos produced by the multiplicity and influence of points of view, further polluted by personal interests, is amplified by the media, TV and Web in the first place, and concretized on the screen through the overflowing presence of multiple channels expressive used simultaneously (emblematic the expedient of the messages shown in overlay during the dialogues), which override each other forcing the viewer to orientate himself in the intricate media jungle of multitasking communication.
In this sense, The Snow White Murder Case is first and foremost a film on the very current topic of the chilling superficiality and uncontrollability of shared information, closely linked to that of the unreliability of the subjective image we have and that we more or less consciously supply with reality . But there is also room for the representation of a feral humanity guided by the survival instinct in a society in crisis in which a workplace can be the object of struggles without exclusion of blows, as well as for the theme, perhaps more obvious but faced with grace, of the weight difference between real and virtual relations. Within such a scenario, the title Snow White turns out to be not so much the victim Noriko as the suspect Miki, so anomalous in its awkwardly naive purity (which in some ways refers to other characters of Nakamura, in particular those interpreted by Hamada Gaku) to seem the protagonist of a fairy tale. A link with children’s literature strengthened, among other things, by the juxtaposition of her character with the red-haired novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery, quoted in the plot. It is Miki, like the protagonist of the classic Grimm, who finds herself reluctantly entangled in an impenetrable and frightening forest, whose monsters are nothing but illusions in the night of reason.
A successful film, in which fun and restlessness go hand in hand.