Real Screen 5 articles



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  • While the first half boasts some creepy images and the kind of pervading dread that marked both Cure and Kurosawa’s Pulse (2001), the further the film travels into its characters’ pasts, the more it falls back on blunt Freudianism and risible metaphysics.

  • The problem, as is often the case with a premise founded on misdirection, is one of explication. A mid-film twist doesn’t so much pull the rug out from under you as it does roll you up in it and push you off a cliff. Revelations stack and topple. By the end of its second act, the film has so thoroughly exhausted the goodwill of a patient audience that any interest in plot must be jettisoned to even enjoy the aesthetics.

  • Kiyoshi Kurosawa displayed an impressive gift for unreal dread in Cure (1997), a superb serial-killer thriller, and Pulse (2001), his millennial masterpiece. That penchant is nowhere in evidence in this embarrassing psychodrama, set in a near future when people can communicate with coma victims via schlocky medical technology.

  • [The plesiosaurus is] emblematic of how spectacularly the film falls apart. No amount of intellectual justification can change the fact that a plesiosaurus (they emphasize that it's a plesiosaurus several times in the film; Plesiosaurus!) attacks two people at the end of this film. And it's every bit as off-putting as that sounds.

  • There's an unhinged rage that Kurosawa is able to convey through the wildness of the plot and his quietly unnerving exploration of Atsumi's interior landscape. And there's potent sadness to his portrayal of the life of an artist, one where digital existence and fantasy become more alluring and manageable than reality. The reconciliation and settling of Koichi and Atsumi's shared grief, however, is at once unique and terribly pointless...

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