The Face of Another (I Have a Stranger's Face) (Tanin no kao) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Face of Another (I Have a Stranger's Face) (Tanin no kao) Reviews

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flixsterman
Super Reviewer
March 10, 2009
This is a film that crawls around inside your head long after the credits have rolled and the lights have come back on. A person could spend hours analyzing and dissecting the symbolism and social commentary.
sanjurosamurai
Super Reviewer
½ August 8, 2009
what a brilliant film. entrenched in philosophy, the dialogue in the film and the films entire concept were incredibly profound and thought provoking. nakadai put in a great performance as always and the images produced through some great cinematography were perfect for creating just the right feel for the subject matter. a phenomenal film.
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
½ May 1, 2009
A man with a burned face teeters on the brink of madness, torturing himself and his wife with his daily obsessions over appearance and how people are looking at him. He goes to his psychiatrist friend who also happens to be an expert in prosthetics, and is given a lifelike mask to wear, only so the Doctor can observe and study his reaction to the mask. Soon, the man has an entirely new outlook on life, but the doctor wonders if it's the man or the mask that's living this way. There's quite a surrealistic element to this film, especially with the subplot involving a disfigured girl, suicides, and Nagasaki. Unfortunately, these surrealistic elements tend to sidetrack the main narrative rather than enhance it. And while the direction is sometimes amazing, it just as often gets lost in poor editing decisions. There are scenes that have no business being in the movie or being as long as they are, and it slows the story down to a halt. I'm also not quite sure what conclusion the film intends to lead me to. I'm not sure the filmmakers knew what conclusion they were leading me to either. Having said this, I can't deny the film has a certain charisma that draws you in, and the performances by the lead actors are really quite good. In any event, I'd trade a thousand Hannah Montana films for just one film like this. A for effort.
Super Reviewer
½ April 23, 2012
"Civilization demands light, even at night. But a man without a face is free only when darkness rules the world."

The high-concept plot of "The Face of Another" suggests a horror film, but it's really more of a psychological think-piece. Okuyama (Tatsuya Nakadai) is a business executive whose face has been gruesomely burnt in a chemical accident. He spends his day wrapped behind bandages, bitterly loathing himself and his plight. Even his wife can't bear to be around him anymore. But Okuyama finds a doctor with a sophisticated procedure for taking a mold of another face (the two pay a random man for the privilege) and creating an undetectable, form-fitting mask.

The doctor is brimming with philosophy about the relationship between face and personality, and warns there will be emotional repercussions when Okuyama changes the interface through which he views the world and it views him. Eventually, the issue narrows to the familiar scenario of the implausibly unrecognized husband trying to seduce his wife as a "stranger" to see what happens. Somewhat disappointing.

Director Hiroshi Teshigahara ("Woman in the Dunes," "Pitfall") also makes a strange choice to add a second, sketchier story that never intersects with the first. This tale follows another person with disfiguring facial scars -- this time, a once-pretty young woman who's apparently living in some sort of asylum. The purpose of this sidelight is somewhat mysterious and unresolved, as is a peculiar subplot about a girl with a baffling fixation on yo-yos. Like with Teshigahara's other well-known films, existential issues of identity are a prime concern and the imagery has a surreal, allegorical quality that Rod Serling would have appreciated.
Super Reviewer
½ May 22, 2013
The Face of Another, unlike Pitfall is highly symbolic and relatable. It's a story of identity, and the constant way humans cover up imperfections. Highly philosophical and especially the first half has deep thoughts. Add this to the beautiful but simple visuals, and it's a real treat. This reminded me of so many other films. The Elephant Man and The House is Black immediately come to mind. Then the surreal first half brought Persona and Un Chien Andalou into the mix. I talk about the first half more since it was far more memorable. After the mask came on this became more straightforward, and less stunning. It still brought up interesting new ideas, but lost the spookiness, and emptiness. Which perhaps was intentional, since by the end the main character is completely transformed. I love the opening scene, and all the scenes involving the creation of the mast. Enjoyable art movie.
DrStrangeblog
Super Reviewer
May 15, 2009
This movie is rather...strange. Quite strange. Hard to categorize - part psychodrama, part thriller, part new wave, and not really any of those. Moves slowly but I was kept occupied (I kept thinking the psychiatrist/maskmaker had an ulterior motive), but an unrelated sideplot involving a scarred woman seemed repetitive of the main story and therefore rather pointless. Some diverting avant-garde sets and non-sequiturs (woman's bed flying through the city??) kept things edgy. A commendable experiment from '60s Japanese cinema.
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2008
Another incredible adaptation of a Kobo Abe novel by the amazing Hiroshi Teshigahara. Having just finished the novel, I might even go as far as to say the movie was better. The addition of the doctor was an ingenius one and the filmmaking is simply fantastic. Every shot could be framed and put up on a wall (more than likely, the strange wall of the doctor's office). Another masterpiece resulting from the author and director's team ups.
September 14, 2015
year s/b 1966 not '67 besides that i found this 2b really creepy still today & one more thing would make a perfect dbl feature with 'eyes without a face" or 'open your eyes'
March 23, 2009
A ground-breaking Japanese drama of a existential commentary on plastic surgery and identity with incredible visuals and acting.
½ November 10, 2012
Passable foreign film. I thought it was interesting and I liked the subplot too. A little too long but worth watching at least once.
April 2, 2012
Hiroshi Teshigahara's "Face of Another" is a surrealistic masterpiece. Delving deep into the mind of an outwardly scarred man, the film discovers that the true nature of disfigurements exist not simply on a surface level, but are buried deep with the man himself. An amazing film from one of the great directors of Japanese cinema.
½ April 10, 2011
A very interesting and thought provoking film. It delves into the identity of self and how we allow our outward appearances to define us. The acting and script were superb and I adored the freeze frame at the end. I'll be thinking about this one for a while.
½ May 17, 2007
interesting kafkaesque premise. It's never good though for a film to have heavyhanded conversations about its ideas and themes instead of illustrating them.
½ April 30, 2009
A man with a burned face teeters on the brink of madness, torturing himself and his wife with his daily obsessions over appearance and how people are looking at him. He goes to his psychiatrist friend who also happens to be an expert in prosthetics, and is given a lifelike mask to wear, only so the Doctor can observe and study his reaction to the mask. Soon, the man has an entirely new outlook on life, but the doctor wonders if it's the man or the mask that's living this way. There's quite a surrealistic element to this film, especially with the subplot involving a disfigured girl, suicides, and Nagasaki. Unfortunately, these surrealistic elements tend to sidetrack the main narrative rather than enhance it. And while the direction is sometimes amazing, it just as often gets lost in poor editing decisions. There are scenes that have no business being in the movie or being as long as they are, and it slows the story down to a halt. I'm also not quite sure what conclusion the film intends to lead me to. I'm not sure the filmmakers knew what conclusion they were leading me to either. Having said this, I can't deny the film has a certain charisma that draws you in, and the performances by the lead actors are really quite good. In any event, I'd trade a thousand Hannah Montana films for just one film like this. A for effort.
January 1, 2009
[color=white][img]http://75.125.155.130/images/PRODUCT/large/715515024624.jpg[/img][/color]



[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]Mr. Okuyama is a successful business man with a beautiful wife and a perfect life. Unfortunately for Mr. Okuyama, he is in a horrific crash that destroys his face. As doctors work to fix his face, Mr. Okuyama struggles with insecurities about his acceptance within society. The doctor?s develop a special mask for Mr. Okuyama; however, the mask may not have arrived soon enough to save Mr. Okuyama?s sanity.[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]?There are people who act like monsters, and monsters who act like people. Even monsters have their pleasures.?[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]Hiroshi Teshigahara, director of Rikyu, Hokusia, Tokyo 1958, and Summer Soldiers, delivers The Face of Another. The storyline for this picture is outstanding. The script was brilliant and filled with fascinating analogies. The acting was magnificent and the cast included Tatsuya Nakadai (Kagemusha, Ran, and Sanshiro Sugata) and Machiko Kyo (The Family and Black Lizard).[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]?Her face isn?t worth showing without make-up.?[/color][/size][/font]

[size=3][font=Times New Roman][color=white]The Face of Another recently aired on the Independent Film Channel (IFC). This film is a little slow and monotonous at times; however, the content is brilliant, well presented, and the script is magnificently written. The cast delivered marvelous performances, especially Tatsuya Nakadai. I strongly recommend seeing this picture. [/color][/font][/size]
[size=3][/size]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]?You are prodding me to cut off your hand rather than replace your finger.?[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]Grade: A-[/color][/size][/font]
½ July 2, 2008
Utterly outstanding and thought-provoking. Explores the splintering of identity to great depths, aided by numerous shots through windows, frames, mirrors and other distortions. The photography, especially the artful sense of composition, is stunning. The music and surreal flourishes create an unsettling mood. Normally, I might think of the secondary plotline as a distraction, but I actually thought it fit in quite well. The way it pops in and out the narrative was like a movie-within-a-movie.
½ June 26, 2008
like johnny handsome, except not amazing. fuck, why is that movie is so good? Oh because it's a bank heist revenge thriller starring the elephant man, that's why. In this movie though, when the deformed guy gets a new face he just wants to seduce his wife, to basically trick her into cheating on him with himself. Which is a good idea for a movie, but in the end undone by its artypretentions. Still, Nakadai proves he may be like top 10 actors of all time here, he spends half the movie with mummy bandages on his face and he's fucking incredible. I mean, he almost literally acts his way out of a paper bag.
November 30, 2007
psychological and philosophical horror..i like it.. i definitely need to check his other films. there are so many things that made me think after wacthing this movie..
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