Isola: Tajuu jinkaku sh˘jo (Isola: Multiple Personality Girl) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Isola: Tajuu jinkaku sh˘jo (Isola: Multiple Personality Girl) Reviews

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September 29, 2014
weak plot points that moves to boredom
February 14, 2012
weak plot points that moves to boredom
½ April 6, 2010
This rambles a bit, but it was fairly interesting throughout, even if it veers off into odd areas before finally swinging back to the original plot to wrap everything up in time for credits.

Worth a look, but be aware the course becomes muddied before it all becomes clear.
½ June 19, 2009
Seemed to have the same problem most book adaptions have, it seemed like there was more to the story that could have been developed. I was also a little confused at first about what exactly was going on with some of the characters like the Moritani's teacher and the doctor but that goes back to the story development problem.
April 14, 2009
In the aftermath of the 1995 Kobe earthquake, Yukari (played by Yoshino Kimura, a very popular actress in Japan) wanders the ruined streets and eventually washes up at a shelter for the homeless. She is able to read people's thoughts, a skill or curse which has made her emotionally homeless for many years.

Dr.Nomura, a school psychologist, takes Yukari home and it's while there that the psychic learns of the case of a schoolgirl - Chihiro (Yu Kurosawa) with multiple personalities. One of these, it seems, is capable of inducing people to kill themselves. As Yukari investigates, she discovers that Chihiro had an out-of-body experience during the car crash which killed her parents.

The pretext of the film is what if your mind is fragmented during an out-of-body experience: supposing a part of it is left homeless, unable to return; supposing the pieces never quite gel, remain separate characteristics. Could that evil side - the Mr.Hyde - find a way to live beyond your body, to find a means of striking back at those who transgress against you?

The concept of multiple personalities is one fraught with controversy. Do they exist or are they created in unconscious collusion with the therapist - like recovered memories or other life experiences? Clearly, we all have different characters living within us, different aspects of our persona. We maintain an inner dialogue with self, maintain a coherent narrative of who we are and what we are at any given time or situation. What happens if we unravel those strands - can each become a coherent persona in its own right?

Based on a novel by Yusuke Kishi, "Isola" opens with great atmosphere and potential. Disjointed, enigmatic, it requires some concentration to knit the various strands together and understand the immediate logic of the film, but throughout the first half you are emotionally and intellectually engaged and moved to the edge of your seat. Yoshino Kimura is riveting in her psychic role. But the multiple personalities turn out to be something of a red herring.

It's not a bad film. It has plenty of atmosphere, plenty of potential, but somehow it just doesn't quite knit together as it approaches its denouement. The notion of the vengeance spirit is, by now, familiar in Japanese movies, but while "Isola" sets up all the logic and backstory for this, the conclusion doesn't quite build enough tension to make it a wholly satisfactory film. It's stylish, it's enjoyable, it's well made, but it just lacks that vital punch.

Good picture and sound quality on the DVD, but the extras are seriously limited - a couple of very brief interviews with two of the actors, and that's about it. Like the film itself, the extras just lack that little bit of punch. Worth watching, but you'll feel it could have been better.
½ March 27, 2009
Such a good movie. Awesome.
½ September 26, 2008
I think that a lot more could have been done with this film. It's a good idea and I don't know if the book is any different as I haven't read it, but the film lacked something for me. Mediocre in my opinion but others may disagree.
Super Reviewer
½ July 15, 2008
Plot is kind of convoluted, but not as much as A Tale of Two Sisters. It also gives less of an overtly supernatural vibe throught the majority of the film, unlike many other Japanese horror films such as Ringu or Dark Water. Personally, I think the acting is rather good, but that is my own non-professional opinion. It's probably not going to scare you, and it's not going to win anything, but for some reason I like it. Probably because I like ghosts and mental people. Go figure.
June 7, 2008
The latter half was convoluted and the main character falls victim to horror movie decision-making (as in, repeatedly making very stupid ones), but overall I found the movie enjoyable to watch. There are some interesting themes, at least.
Super Reviewer
½ March 4, 2008
Well worth your time.
½ January 21, 2008
How do I say this? Oh yes. If you have absolutely no cinematographic knowledge whatsoever, you are going to love this tremendous celluloid abortion. Being brain dead will also help you enjoy this nonsense. Note to director: A scary movie is supposed to scare people. There's not one single mildly chilly scene in this movie. Not one! One! The DVD cover is more scary than anything in the movie, and probably cost more, since the whole movie seems like it was shot in a $100 budget. I can't even believe I watched this piece of crap, Jeez.
September 21, 2007
It was mediocre in every respect, but there were some funny suicides. That's about as good as it gets.
½ August 27, 2007
This film was a waste of time, characters were thrown in for no real reason, the story was confused and didn't seem to know where it was going, Isola was used as a tool for a pointlessly vengeful spirit and seemingly had no other function in the film. Essentially, it seemed like I was watching a made-for-tv movie made to cash in on the popularity of J Horror.
August 4, 2007
I honestly didn't expect much out of Isola, and if you're expecting tradition Japanese cinema horror, you probably shouldn't either. However, since I'm not really a fan of horror flicks, it's easier for me to overlook the fact that it's not really a scare flick. Where Isola's strong point comes in is on a different number of factors, mainly it's writing, combining several areas of supernatural phenomenon and adding a really intense psychological twist. If you go into it expecting to be scared out of your wits, well sorry, it's not going to happen. But if you're willing to except that, you're in for a delightfully fantastic story. Not to mention pretty good special effects for an Asian flick. I love it, but this is really one of those movies that you'll either hate or love.
½ July 3, 2007
BOR-ING! The idea is a often-tread theme and it breaks no new ground. Boo and boo. Apparently she has 13 personalities, but you don't really get to see it. Good concept to align it with the Kobe-earthquake, but that's about it.
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