Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cold Fish

This is an interesting little crime drama from Japan. A horribly polite, nice, Japanese man and his wife are having problems. He wants relationships and she doesn't. Also his daughter is doing a little five finger discounting so as to rebel against her step mother and dad. She gets caught and should be sent to the cops but they are saved when another dealer of tropical fish gets into things.

This old fella is everything our hero is not. He's out going, cheerful, and loud. He has a faux charmingness. He's not really charming but he's so in your face that he melts the usual Japanese politeness like blowtorch to ice cubes. Soon enough he has the daughter working for him, and has seduced/rape our hero's wife. He then forcibly makes our hero his partner in a rather suspicious scheme involving fish breeding.

Then he kills someone in front of his eyes.

He tells our hero this is his 58th kill and not to worry. He has a system. He makes the hero part of the process threatening the life of his wife and daughter. Our meek little hero is now a criminal and doesn't know what to do. Things get even worse as cops and other crooks get involved. Can our hero man up?

This is a good little crime thriller. It's certainly a change of pace and reminds me of some of the Cohen brother's work like "Blood Simple." I was put off by the casual mistreatment of women.  Why this is worse than the equally casual murder I really can't say except that it is such a constant in Japanese cinema that it just automatically puts me off.

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