November 21, 2013

A Chorus of Angels (2012)

A Chorus of Angels (2012) - Movie Review
Directed by: Junji Sakamoto
Country: Japan

Movie Review: Junji Sakamoto’s films were never recognized as important in Japanese contemporary cinema, and “A Chorus Of Angels” still isn’t a sign of change. The problems don’t lie in the technical aspects whose photography, lighting, and score (not for my taste) were awarded by the Japanese academy. The plot, with all its twists, flashbacks, and revelations, was the main setback, becoming too convoluted and sorrowful to be pleasant. The story follows Haru (Sayuri Yoshinaga), former teacher in Hokkaido who was forced to leave her job due to an accident that victimized her kind-hearted husband. Since that time, and along 20 years, she has been working as librarian. Unexpectedly, in her last day before retirement, she receives the visit of two policemen who just had started an inquiry regarding Nobuto (Mirai Moriyama), the youngest and most problematic of her former students, now accused of murder. Curiosity makes her travel to Hokkaido again to contact each one of the five students. More will be found about Nobuto’s case, along with other surprising disclosures. Sadly, the story didn’t tease me in any way, with the narrative being presented in somnolent tones and the characters carrying guilt and sorrow along the way. Too tidy, tolerant, and super-dramatic, “A Chorus of Angels” overuses the words ‘my fault’ without ever create truly (in)tense moments. This drama was based on a novel by Kanae Minato, the same author of “Confessions”, published in 2008, and transformed in a cinematic hit by Tatsuya Nakashima in 2010.

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