Friday, December 13, 2013

Movie Review: Retribution (Sakebi) - 2006

Even the NSA won't be able to decrypt this movie

IMDB A detective investigates a serial killer case. It's a case tricky not only for him but also for the viewer because it is often hard to tell what exactly is happening and why. Maybe the detective is the murderer himself or maybe not. He sees the ghost of a woman in red, and maybe he has forgotten something about his past, whatever that is. Or maybe not. Or maybe he is just crazy. Or maybe this is just all symbolic for something. My brain hurts!

Camerawork, editing, acting and everything of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Retribution" is top notch, but for the love of god, this film frustrated me. On the one hand, the viewer is in the position of knowing more than the protagonist, seeing everything that happens. But in the end, you're denied the missing pieces of the puzzle. Like a horse teased with an unreachable carrot in front of its nose. And then the slow pace of the movie challenges your patience.

Generally, I don't have a problem with confusing plots. Takashi Miike, for instance, can make incredibly confusing films. But in Miike's films, the confusion is part of the experience. There is no encrypted message, the surreal images are the message themselves. Whereas with "Retribution", Kurosawa seems to be trying to encrypt something. Unfortunately, his message is encrypted so well that even the NSA won't figure it out.

Rating: 5 out of 10 buckets of salt water.