Thursday, July 11, 2013

KOKUHAKU
(CONFESSIONS)


Eiga Sai 2013
Cinema 2, Shang Cineplex


Compared to the light family drama I saw yesterday, this film is a psychological thriller that sent chills down my spine. The opening scene is in a noisy classroom on the last day before spring break.  A female teacher is talking about the value of life until she begins to recount her grief and sorrow over the accidental death of her four year old daughter.  

Then she tells the class that it wasn't an accident and she knows for sure that two of her students 'murdered' her child.   She refuses to identify the two culprits and simply labels them as "A" and "B".   The mood in the boisterous classroom immediately changes in more ways than one as the focus shifts on the two murderers.

The rest of the film spirals into a chaotic yet well conceived sequences of "confessions" from all the concerned characters in the gruesome accident. Filmed in dark tones of grey and bleak cinematography, the plot moves easily with equal amounts of  fast paced scenes along with slow motion and reflective moments which tug at your heartstrings.    

The main draw is how compelling each side of the story unfolds. All sorts of emotions seem to nudge your brain cells. The streaks of brutal and violent flashbacks shocks you to the core then it turns to poignant 'behind the scenes' explanations into the motives of the students who resorted to these evil acts of violence.

It was quite disturbing to absorb this dark, psychological thriller which touched on currently relevant issues like bullying, suicide, discrimination, conflicts in schools between teachers and students. It also widely tackled vengeance and ultimately redemption.   

Yet at the same time, I've never seen such a honest portrayal of a revenge story and it fascinated me to no end.  It still haunts me.

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