Akunin   2010   Japan Villain
Villain Image Cover
Additional Images
Director:Sang-il Lee
Writer:Shuichi Yoshida, Sang-il Lee
IMDb Rating:7.1 (251 votes)
Awards:5 wins & 8 nominations
Duration:139 min
Sang-il Lee  ...  (Director)
Shuichi Yoshida, Sang-il Lee  ...  (Writer)
Eri Fukatsu  ...  Mitsuyo
Satoshi Tsumabuki  ...  Shimizu
Akira Emoto  ...  
Sabu Kawahara  ...  
Kirin Kiki  ...  
Hikari Mitsushima  ...  
Masaki Okada  ...  
Joe Hisaishi  ...  Composer
Norimichi Kasamatsu  ...  Cinematographer
Takeshi Imai  ...  Editor
Comments: this is the film that prompted me to make a thread. I was going to just make a post for it, alone, but decided to bury my gripes in the middle of a larger dump. This film is an amateur borefest. It wants to be a high concept film exploring deep and meaningful themes but it's executed so poorly it fails. Two good things about it are: it has a nicely poignant ending which unfortunately gets stomped on by more, un-poignant ending; Eri Fukatsu's performance and character are pretty good. I don't know if it's that hers is the only character written well, or if she is the only actor who was able to make her character interesting. There is at least some arc to her character and she makes it available to us. I'm going with director FAIL here because of Hikari Mitsushima's performance. When Sion Sono screamed at her during Love Exposure "Come on, you're an actor. Move us, you idiot!" he got a good performance from her. In this film she doesn't move us at all. She just acts kind of dumb and then screams a lot. Satoshi Tsumabuki has been serviceable in other roles but not this one. There are what seem like an infinite number of scenes of him staring off into space or gazing at his navel, pretending to be full of distress, but he either doesn't have the chops for it or he was directed and shot poorly, because they are empty. There is no weight to any of the drama in this film. It's just techniques of manipulation strung together attempting to be meaningful or intense. FAIL. At almost two and a half hours, and because most of the scenes are played at a snail's pace, mis-edited and boring, this film is way too long. If a director is going to train the camera on an actor for minutes at a time, and give them very little dialog, that director better have good actors and know what he is doing. I don't believe that happened here. The soundtrack is a dead giveaway. Manipulative schmaltz. Terrible film. Kids playing in the big boys yard and looking foolish doing it.

Summary: Yuichi Shimizu (Satoshi Tsumabuki) is a young man who takes care of his grandparents in a decaying fishing village in Nagasaki. His grandparents raised Yuichi instead of his mother. Yuichi now works as a civil employee. He is a lonely man.

One day, Yuichi meets Yoshino Ishibashi (Hikari Mitsushima) an insurance sales woman from Fukuoka. They first met through an online dating site. Their meeting ends in tragedy with Yuichi murdering Yoshino. Unexpectedly, a rich young university student from Fukuoka, named Keigo Masuo (Masaki Okada) endss up as the prime suspect. Hiding in fear & agony, Yuichi goes on with his daily life.

Then one day, Yuichi receives an email. The email is from Mitsuyo Magome (Eri Fukatsu), a woman from Saga. Yuichi and Mitsuyo exchanged emails in the past after meeting through an online dating site. Mitsuyo currently lives a mundane life, working at a men's clothing store and living with her younger sister. Looking for companionship, Mitsuyo decided to reach out to Yuichi after a lengthy time without correspondence.

The two lonely souls then meet for the first time and throw themselves into a moment of love. By this time, Yuichi is now a wanted criminal and his face appears on the news. Nevertheless, Mitsuyo persuades Yuichi to run away with her and not turn himself in. Running away places heavy burdens on their families as well as the victim's family.

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