Yoshino Kimura … Yuko Shimomura (Naoki’s mother)
Masaki Okada … Yoshiteru Terada
Yukito Nishii … Shuya Watanabe
Kaoru Fujiwara … Naoki Shimomura
Makiya Yamaguchi … Masayoshi Sakuranomiya
Mana Ashida … Manami Moriguchi (Yuko’s Daughter)
Tsutomu Takahashi … Mr. Tokura
Kai Inowaki … Takahiro
PLOT: A psychological thriller of a grieving mother turned cold-blooded avenger with a twisty master plan to pay back those who were responsible for her daughter’s death. Middle school teacher Yoko Moriguchi‘s (Takako Matsu) life comes crashing down after the murder of her 4 year old daughter. Eventually Yoko Moriguchi suspects some of her own students to have been responsible for her daughter’s death. An elaborate plan for revenge then ensues, including forcing students to drink HIV tainted milk … (credits: imdb and asianmediawiki)
MY ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW:
I used to think school was a jungle. Seeing this movie made me realize it’s wilder and more dangerous than that. Having watched the Korean flick DIARY OF JUNE and that Korean TV series JUNGLE FISH, I was convinced that I wouldn’t dare go to school in Korea or Japan. Bullying was much more terrifying in these countries than in America. ~_~ It made me question humanity. ANYWAY, when I googled this movie I found lots of rave reviews and I learned that it won numerous awards all over the world. It was Japan’s Official Entry for the 2011 Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language category. The movie started off in a sort of calm-before-the-storm manner. You can see middle-school kids happily chit-chatting as they drank their daily supply of milk inside their classroom. Some are fooling around; some are messing up with some poor kid. Needless to say they all looked so innocent and blissful. The thing I noticed right off the bat was the awesome music video-like slow-mo camera shots. No matter how unpleasant the scene was, it looked so great and ideal because of the slo-mo effect. Throughout the movie, I really admired the camera shots and special effects. :))) When the teacher, Moriguchi, started her confession about her daughter’s cruel death, nobody seemed to take her seriously. They were still cracking jokes and even sending messages to each other. Nobody gave a damn. From there I felt a powerful surge of emotion towards these kids. They’re middle school students for godssakes! And they’re already acting like a bunch of grownup demented and cruel psychos. It hurts to see them like that.
ANYWAY… Moriguchi’s blow by blow account of what happened to her daughter was just too terrible. It took a lot of courage for a mother to be able to speak about it in a calm manner– as though it was an ordinary thing that would eventually happen. I felt her pain with every word. T_T When she revealed that she wanted to get back at whoever did that to her daughter, she finally got half the attention of those insane students. AND when she told them how she injected the HIV positive blood inside the culprit’s box of milk, it got even better. NOW everyone is listening. As inhumane as it sounds, I still felt slight happiness knowing those crazy despicable murderers will suffer. BUT wait there’s more… just when I thought it would end at that, there was more to the story than what Moriguchi let on earlier. I thought she was out of the picture after that but I was wrong. Along came Terada– the new young teacher who’s kinda foolish and clueless on the outside… but there’s more to him than that. *evil grin* After Moriguchi’s shocking confession, the three other main characters gave their very confessions as well. They gave a more detailed and personal side of the story. It’s like showing a much crueler and terrifying truth.
^ The forced kiss… bittersweet~
BUT there was something that made this story sort of CUTE in a twisted way. The young love between one of the culprits– Shuya and a pretty girl from his class– Masayoshi.
It started off when the latter showed sympathy towards Shuya, making her a target of the bullying as well. They were forced to kiss and from there, they sort of started dating… I personally wanted that Shuya kid to just die or something. He was pure evil. I don’t feel any sadness or sympathy for him. It’s not like he felt remorseful even after he was out casted and bullied for killing a helpless 4-year-old girl. He even felt PROUD about his ‘achievement’. It was revealed later on that all this kid wanted was his mother’s attention and love. Talk about some serious OEDIPUS COMPLEX. Tsk tsk. The other kid– or maybe it’s more appropriate to call him “BABY”, Naoki is just seriously demented. He’s a psycho in the making. I don’t think anything can justify why he turned out to be like that. Okay, maybe coz he’s too sheltered and spoiled by his mom or something… but STILL– he had a murderer’s instinct written all over his face. He was the one who gave me the creeps the most. It was too disturbing to watch a baby like him kill someone so… happily. No remorse, no second thoughts. It was like he was born to do stuff like that. -__- What was most upsetting was the fact that his mother still tried to protect him. NEWSFLASH! Your son is an insane killer. And he’s a stupid brat. In the end she couldn’t take the craziness going on so she did what she should’ve done way before. *sighs* I was starting to feel a bit of likeness towards Shuya as the movie reached its climax… but then he killed his girlfriend too. BASTARD! Just because he was overshadowed by her famous crime back then. What a stupid brat. Right then all I wanted to do was put my hands around that stupid little neck of him and just squeeze the life out of him! THERE ISN’T ANYONE IN THIS MOVIE THAT YOU CAN LIKE. SERIOUSLY. ALL OF THEM ARE JUST TOO DESPICABLE BEYOND WORDS. Even Moriguchi was hateful in her own way because no matter how you see it, revenge is never justifiable. Plus, her revenge was the worst kind– it was all serious MINDF*CK. She was totally playing with their weak little minds until they go crazy and if she’s lucky enough, they’d kill themselves or something. I kinda figured out the last few moments of the movie, it was sort of predictable that when you can’t mess with the kid’s life, then you have to mess with someone else’s life. Someone whom that kid treasures and cherishes more than his own life. His mother. ^^ The final moments of the movie was so breathtaking that it put me on the edge of my seat… But as Moriguchi said her last few words, I felt the air being knocked out of me. As I said– SERIOUS MINDF*CK!!! >_< Demmit. I almost applauded as the credits started rolling in. Amidst the cruelty, violence and mindf*ck in this movie, the plot was just fantastically awesome… in a sick and twisted way. It’s the sort of movie I’d rant about on and on again but then I wouldn’t know how and where to start. It was just perfect. IDC if the Oscars didn’t think it’s worthy of an award, I’d give this movie 10 points out of 10. :)))