[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
• HONMA Hideyuki
• AMEMIYA Yuzaburo
• OURA Toshimasa
[ Cast ]
• HIROSUE Ryoko UBARA Teiko
• NAKATANI Miki MUROTA Sachiko
• KIMURA Tae TANUMA Hisako
[ Staff ]
• Original Story: MATSUMOTO Seicho
• Screenplay: INUDO Isshin
• Screenplay: NAKAZONO Kenji
• Cinematography: TSUTAI Takahiro
• Editor: UENO Soichi
• Music: UENO Koji
• Production Design: SESHIMO Koji
[ Production Company ]
DENTSU / TOHO / TV ASAHI / KINOSHITA / The Asahi Shimbun / NIPPON SHUPPAN HANBAI / Yahoo Japan / TOKYO FM / Asahi Broadcasting / NAGOYA BROADCASTING NETWORK / IMJ Entertainment / TSUTAYA Group / FLaMme / Kyushu Asahi Broadcasting / Hokkaido Television Broadcasting / HOKURIKU ASAHI BROADCASTING / Hiroshima Home Television / ehime asahi television
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
Release Date: November 14, 2009
Running Time: 131 min
Screening Format: 35mm
[ Story ]
An adaptation of the classic mystery novel of the same title by Matsumoto Seicho, one of the leading Japanese novelists from the second half of the 20th century. The story has been adapted into two previous films and five TV dramas. The film marks the first suspense film from Inudo Isshin, director of Josee, the Tiger and the Fish
, which became a phenomenon in South Korea.
The story is set around 1960, as Japan was undergoing drastic changes as it transitioned from postwar chaos to rapid economic growth. Just seven days after their arranged marriage, Teiko’s (Hirosue Ryoko) husband Kenichi (Nishijima Hidetoshi) leaves for Kanazawa, where he used to work, and is never heard from again. Perplexed and concerned, Teiko heads to Kanazawa and visits one of Kenichi’s clients. There, she meets two women: the client’s wife, Sachiko (Nakatani Miki), and a secretary, Hisako (Kimura Tae). Meanwhile, a series of murders take the lives of various people with connections to Kenichi. As she digs deeper into the mystery, Teiko comes face to face with her husband’s hidden past.
[ Official Site ]
The yellow Matsumoto Seicho are Japanese national institution. Among the various reasons why it is like that in his stories often a component of social criticism seasons refined criminal mechanisms. Needless to say, they were taken many television series and films. One of his most famous titles is in fact “Zero no Shoten” (1959), about a man who gets married and after a week does not come back home from the city where he worked previously. His wife began to look for him and gradually discovering with growing dismay a long network of relationships that come to the time of World War II. In 1961, Nomura Yoshitar ō turned the story into a dark and tense thriller, where the black and white era was marrying the sourness of snowy landscapes on the Noto Peninsula, all in the service of a devilish gear, where various characters were mostly the same gear wheels. The central character of the film Nomura was the wife of the deceased, played by Yoshiko Kuga.
In 2009, also in the wake of the centenary celebration of the birth of Matsumoto, Inudo Isshin has (re) made the film based on the same story. Unfortunately I have not read the novel, but what is certain is that the Inudo film is very different from that of Nomura. Aside from the obvious presence of color, Nomura had done a contemporary film, while Inudo makes a meticulous period reconstruction. Second, while Nomura was very attentive, in accordance with the tradition of the Japanese mystery, to accurately justify the mouths of his characters each logical step of the plot until the final resolution, Inudo is less concerned to explain the chains of yellow but it goes beyond the borders of the kind to give us a story of passions, fears, public and private anguish. Third, Inudo to ggiunge many elements, such as the painter or the group of women who support the first candidate for the office of mayor, which were not present in the first version (not sure if there are in the novel), and that on one hand enrich the historical and social context and on the other provide a portrait of the most rich and varied characters. Finally, what is particularly significant, the narrative and emotional emphasis is subtly but unmistakably shifted by the wife of the late (Hirosue Ryoko) the industrialist’s wife Kanazawa friend and client of the late, played by Miki Nakatani.
The result is a sumptuous melodrama set in the period of reconstruction and dell’inizo the boom with a style and with the evocative atmosphere and engaging beautifully photographed by Tsutai Takahiro. To use a slogan, you could say “Hitchcock more Sirk in the land of snows”. Without revealing nothing of the plot, Isshin seems to emphasize the principle that political, economic and social as old as human history that at the root of every good fortune there is a crime. But he does so well, so articulately, that rather than siding with the “good”, we can only suffer together in good and bad alike.
All the actors are directed very well and is equally well expressed, with the sole exception perhaps of Hirosue Ryoko, that here as elsewhere does not seem particularly scope for acting. A little ‘sottoutlilizzata the always pleasant Tae Kimura. On the other hand, Miki Nakatani unfolds around the catalog of his ability to give us a portrait unforgettable, confirming itself as one of the stars of contemporary Japanese cinema.