Then again, making a film about a detective who goes mad because of a hypnotist wouldn't really lend itself to comedy unless if Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu made it.
"Cure" es una película que intriga a pesar de una narrativa un tanto repetitiva. Recomendable.
The first half of "Cure" unfolds as a police-procedural. A wave of gruesome murders is sweeping Tokyo, and the only connection between them is a bloody X carved into the neck of each of the victims. A variety of unlikely killers are responsible for the slayings, all of whom have encountered a disoriented young man named Kunio Mamiya, played by Masato Hagiwara. He possesses a hypnotic effect on people, but has no apparent memory of it. His lack of memory appears contagious, and the eventual killers succumb to it as well. Detective Takabe picks up bits and pieces about hypnotic suggestion, a theory he tosses out early in the film, and it is also rejected by his psychiatrist friend, Makoto Sakuma (Tsuyoshi Ujiki). The trail of dead bodies, however, eventually leads to Mamiya, who's been held in a mental hospital.
The second half of the film involves Takabe dealing with his own emotional issues, and his wife who has a deteriorating mental condition, whose symptoms include an inability to recall recent events, and in this way she and Mamiya appear quite similar. This increases Takabe's frustration with Mamiya, as the boy's refusal to respond to simple requests reminds him all to well of the issues at home. Takabe would most likely be Mamiya's next victim, however, he does have one advantage that Mamiya's other victims didn't: his growing knowledge of Mamiya's abilities.
Just as Mamiya is hypnotically manipulating his prey, Kurosawa is also skillfully manipulating the audience, taking us into a world of uncertainty, and a slow descent into pure madness. Kiyoshi Kurosawa deserves credit for his unique visual approach, and his evasive approach to storytelling. He establishes a pervasive sense of detachment by utilizing barren landscapes, and filming scenes with isolated frames. Almost no music is present during the movie, adding to the feel of extreme isolation, and instead amplified everyday sounds create the tension.
Inevitably, the indefinable cure for the unconscionable murders serves as a tragic allegory for the emotional disconnect of our society. The film eerily presents the impersonal nature of our contemporary existence with extraordinary direction. Mr. Kurosawa constructs an elaborate psychological labyrinth, and then strands us in the middle of it, with no definitive way out. A master of disquiet, Kurosawa touches on the forbidden zones of our existence, exploring the unseen, and probing the unspeakable.