Monday, May 24, 2010
Jisatsu sâkuru (2001) (Aka: Suicide Club)
54 high school girls throw themselves in front of a subway train. This appears to be only the beginning of a string of suicides around the country. Does the new all-girl group Desert have anything to do with it? Detective Kuroda tries to find the answer, which isn't as simple as one could hope.
Yes, this J-Horror is quite shocking, and does push the envelope in some respects, but at the core it's just another film concerned with technology and it's use as a villian/killer/etc. The acting is good enough and the direction is fine, but besides having a rather un-inspired central conceit, the bad guy is too obvious too soon and the characters never really figure it out, the writing has huge gaps regarding characters who are never explained, and the 'climax' song doesn't make any sense and turns out to be more of a throw away than what the heightened tension might make you believe. All in all, this could have been WAY better and had some interesting ideas that should have inspired a better final product.
I consider myself to be open-minded, and I found myself liking this enough at first - the plot is original and interesting to say the least... a movie about a suicide club? It displays the sort of trend following behavior exhibited by adolescents at that age and how susceptible someone can be to following along with the crowd. For that reason, and the themes underlying it, I liked it. On the surface, though, it felt, to me, empty - like there was nothing complex going on, and the story became increasingly more absurd, unbelievable and ridiculous as it progressed (minor spoiler: towards the end, a dance/singing scene with a supposedly gruesome murderer in a bowling alley ensues, and I didn't know whether to laugh for the sheer balls it took to make a scene like that, or the complete ridiculousness). I guess you should see it if you enjoy extremely disturbing, gruesome (for the sake of being gruesome), gory, ridiculous movies. I have to say that I was also disappointed with the ending. Suicide Club has its moments of originality and supposed ingenious, but I wouldn't want to see it again.