Directed by Shion Sono and released in it’s home country of Japan in 2012.
Shion Sono is a director most known for his incredibly violent films (Suicide Club, Cold Fish, Noriko’s Dinner Table, Love Exposure) so it’s quite odd to see him do something so left-field such as this. Even though that may be true, many of Sono’s trademarks shine through with this feature, many of which relate back to one of his more recent films Love Exposure – the two main characters of which clearly draw parallels to that of the the two main characters in Himizu, which is actually the term for a specific breed of mole in Japan.
Sadly the screenplay for Himizu is very weak and feels like it was written in a very short amount of time. However there is a logical explanation for this: the film is based on a manga and was then adapted shortly after completion to fit around the deadly earthquake that hit Japan in March of 2011. While the screenplay is lacking in conviction I cannot praise the ensemble of actors in this film. They each give splendid performances even with the awful characters that they have been given to portray.
Despite the bad writing, the film stands out as a clear message to the youth of Japan, in the wake of one of the deadliest earthquakes ever recorded, that there is a future for them regardless of what they may think.
Directed by Shion Sono and released in it’s home country of Japan in 2011.
This review does contain spoilers.
Cold Fish is loosely based on a string of murders in the early 90s. The original killers were dog lovers and for the purpose of the film the animal was changed to fish. It is an incredibly welcome change because an aquarium makes for a much easier backdrop than a dog kennel regardless of the original story.
The film starts out incredibly innocently with our main character – a depressed widower trying to get on with his life with his daughter and his new wife. Slowly but surely the film descends into madness. When we first meet the antagonist of the story we have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen. I genuinely believed Shamoto was going to be the one to turn into the serial killer but how wrong I was, turns out it’s our antagonist who is the sadistic motherfucker butchering up his business associates.
By the end of the film what we’ve seen is more absurd than something even Takashi Miike could muster up. At two and a half hours it’s way too long but not one moment isn’t entertaining or hilarious. There are moments in the last half hour that are unbelievably farfetch’d but it adds to the absurdity of it all and when you put it in perspective with the rest of the film it definitely comes as no surprise that that is where the director chose to take the film.
Better than the only other film of Sono’s I’ve seen – Suicide Club – by miles. And in my top five of 2011.