Director, Tetsuya Nakashima was the Helmer of 2010’s epic revenge movie Confessions. Now Nakashima continues his schooling in filmmaking with another twisted tale of vengeance and murder, The World Of Kanako.
Based on a hugely popular novel by Akio Fukamachi called, Hateshinaki Kawaki.
The World Of Kanako opens in true ultra-violent Japanese form. Before the opening credits roll we see a brutal triple homicide, then the stunning cinematography shows us snow falling, a choir singing and then …our lead character shouting random words like “bitch” or “go to hell”.
The choice of track for when the opening credits do roll was a strange one. We just saw a triple homicide, but at the same time we appreciated the beautiful cinematography, the snow falling, and the sound of the church choir…then, BANG! the credits start to roll with a track that would remind you of the Batman TV series. The credits also have random curse words that just appear on the screen for no other reason, then why the fuck not?
We then meet our main character, the pill-popping, heavy-drinking disgraced detective Akikazu Fujishima (top-notch performance from Kôji Yakusho 13 Assassins).
He has lost his job, his wife, and his daughter. Now his estranged daughter Kanako has gone missing and his ex-wife is putting pressure on him to use whatever detective skills he has left to find out where she is.
When evidence of recent murders all leads back to Kanako, our pill-popping detective is thrown into a dark and depraved world that would break the soberest of minds.
I would also like to point out that our lead character is an asshole, there is no other way to put it. You do sympathise with him as he seems to have lost everything, but he ain’t a nice guy and definitely deserved everything that was coming to him. But no matter how vicious he gets you still want him to come out on top.
He knows nothing, most of all, the world he is about to get thrown into. Our disgraced detective starts to learn that his daughter does not lead the life that he thought she did and that she is involved in a seedy underworld, and criminal gangs, which include the Yakuza.
From the get-go, we know that detective Fujishima has some serious daughter issues and as the story unfolds we learn more about their relationship and why he has turned into a pill-popping junkie who threw his career down the toilet.
The on-screen violence is done quite tastefully, there are a lot of very disturbing scenes, but if you’re used to the hardcore cinema, it should be no problem. A lot of blood spatter, sometimes in animated form is used to tear you away from the madness that is happening on-screen. Not only do we have a huge body count but we also enter a dark world which has drug use, bullying, incest, and rape, so approach with caution.
The World Of Kanako is a film that requires your complete attention, actually, it definitely requires a second, maybe third viewing. I understood the film but it’s there is a lot to it and I know the more you view the more you will grow to understand it. A film for the die-hard movie fan that enjoys the dissection of a film.
Kanako is superbly put together and beautifully edited. You need to be careful though as it jumps from different timelines, and if you blink, then you might find yourself lost somewhere between the past and present.
The World Of Kanako will be released in the U.S in select theatres via Drafthouse Films on December 4th