The Third Murder (Sandome no satsujin) Reviews

  • May 09, 2019

    The Third Murder opens with one man brutally clubbing another to death and burning his body. But did events occur as depicted, and if so, what was the killer's motive? Despite the violent opening, The Third Murder is a slow burn drama with a focus on well-crafted and well-delivered dialogue. This dialogue concerns the accused murderer, Misumi, and his lawyer's attempts to understand his motivations so he can mount a coherent defense. Misumi is wonderfully inscrutable, and the interactions between him and Shigemori form a sort of rumination on the futility of attempting to understand evil, truth in the Japanese legal system, and the existence of fate. This is all shot with some of the best cinematography I've ever seen. The end product is a beautiful and rewarding film, but one which, on account of the slow pace, it not necessarily fun to watch.

    The Third Murder opens with one man brutally clubbing another to death and burning his body. But did events occur as depicted, and if so, what was the killer's motive? Despite the violent opening, The Third Murder is a slow burn drama with a focus on well-crafted and well-delivered dialogue. This dialogue concerns the accused murderer, Misumi, and his lawyer's attempts to understand his motivations so he can mount a coherent defense. Misumi is wonderfully inscrutable, and the interactions between him and Shigemori form a sort of rumination on the futility of attempting to understand evil, truth in the Japanese legal system, and the existence of fate. This is all shot with some of the best cinematography I've ever seen. The end product is a beautiful and rewarding film, but one which, on account of the slow pace, it not necessarily fun to watch.

  • May 01, 2019

    I'm a big fan of Koreeda's work, shoplifters, like father like son and still walking being my favourites that I have seen so far, he has a sort of omnipotent knowledge and ability to translate the human conditions and tragedies along with happiness we all experience. This is why I don't think the third murder works so well. While Shigemori is a man with demons, which Koreeda navigates beautifully as usual, the punch of this characters faults aren't as heightened and effective as they could be with the courtroom and lawyer setting. Koreeda is at his best when he focuses on family and while this does it doesn't feel as intimate, moving or powerful. I can't really fault the writing or directing, it just lacked a bit of an emotional punch i'm so used to in Koreeda films.

    I'm a big fan of Koreeda's work, shoplifters, like father like son and still walking being my favourites that I have seen so far, he has a sort of omnipotent knowledge and ability to translate the human conditions and tragedies along with happiness we all experience. This is why I don't think the third murder works so well. While Shigemori is a man with demons, which Koreeda navigates beautifully as usual, the punch of this characters faults aren't as heightened and effective as they could be with the courtroom and lawyer setting. Koreeda is at his best when he focuses on family and while this does it doesn't feel as intimate, moving or powerful. I can't really fault the writing or directing, it just lacked a bit of an emotional punch i'm so used to in Koreeda films.

  • Feb 28, 2019

    And so it finally happened: I found a Hirokazu Koreeda film that I did not like! This change in the genre, did not bring me the same joy that the other films did. The direction is still good obviously, but the writing is mediocre. It's like if adding murder, Koreeda subtracts in depths and entertaining.

    And so it finally happened: I found a Hirokazu Koreeda film that I did not like! This change in the genre, did not bring me the same joy that the other films did. The direction is still good obviously, but the writing is mediocre. It's like if adding murder, Koreeda subtracts in depths and entertaining.

  • Jan 02, 2019

    Very nice apocalyptic movie. I have watched this movie few times in my audio language german using boxxy software.

    Very nice apocalyptic movie. I have watched this movie few times in my audio language german using boxxy software.

  • Dec 25, 2018

    Superbly done, good story with twists and surprises.

    Superbly done, good story with twists and surprises.

  • Nov 14, 2018

    Compelling cinematography helped the film deliver on its main theme, that one man’s protagonist is another’s antagonist and as such justice is not blind. A little difficult to decipher in the act of watching the film, but it certainly spurs this conversation post-viewing. To me, that’s the hallmark of Koreeda’s films.

    Compelling cinematography helped the film deliver on its main theme, that one man’s protagonist is another’s antagonist and as such justice is not blind. A little difficult to decipher in the act of watching the film, but it certainly spurs this conversation post-viewing. To me, that’s the hallmark of Koreeda’s films.

  • Sep 20, 2018

    Complexity, well written and great photography.

    Complexity, well written and great photography.

  • Jul 21, 2018

    The terrific cast and visual storytelling are subtle - the themes less so, but still thoughtful, and the plot twists itself into ambiguity.

    The terrific cast and visual storytelling are subtle - the themes less so, but still thoughtful, and the plot twists itself into ambiguity.

  • May 18, 2018

    The last one-third is a little bit draggingly slow but the film as a whole is a fresh take on such a traditional genre like legal thriller. Of course, as this film is directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, ones who are already familiar with his works must already be able to figure out that this would not be a conventional "whodunit" and indeed the basic mystery was already laid out bare right at the beginning of the film, whereas it would not be difficult to guess the major twist of this film after its first half due to the pretty limited cast and settings. But "solution" was never the focus of this film, as instead Kore-eda chose to primarily follow the psychological evolution of his characters through their emotions, their lies, and their moments of hesitancy. Similar to many Japanese films, the cast of this film is not entirely strong and thus the performance of some lesser ones (including the lead Masaharu Fukuyama) did slightly undermine the effect of Kore-eda's meticulous portray of modern Japanese minds, but the excellent Suzu Hirose and K?ji Yakusho were still able to make this film a memorable one with their pivotal roles. Some might say that this film lacks a little bit of finesse as Kore-eda rushed to deliver his message of exposing the serious prejudicial issues of the current Japanese legal system. Partially I agree with this sentiment, but it seems that Kore-eda never intended to deliver a "wholesome" experience, he just wanted to share his perspectives of the modern Japanese society with a lot of nuances (nothing totally good, nothing absolutely bad, it is all up to everyone's own judgement), many layers of emotional connections from one to another (despite the ever existence of social barriers like "traditions", "morals", "ethics", preconception - the "prisoner" in this film asks himself and his lawyer again and again about whether or not he should have been born), and many seemingly ordinary lives that still deserve care and attention from the society. In that aspect, Kore-eda has once again delivered an amazing experience for the audience.

    The last one-third is a little bit draggingly slow but the film as a whole is a fresh take on such a traditional genre like legal thriller. Of course, as this film is directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, ones who are already familiar with his works must already be able to figure out that this would not be a conventional "whodunit" and indeed the basic mystery was already laid out bare right at the beginning of the film, whereas it would not be difficult to guess the major twist of this film after its first half due to the pretty limited cast and settings. But "solution" was never the focus of this film, as instead Kore-eda chose to primarily follow the psychological evolution of his characters through their emotions, their lies, and their moments of hesitancy. Similar to many Japanese films, the cast of this film is not entirely strong and thus the performance of some lesser ones (including the lead Masaharu Fukuyama) did slightly undermine the effect of Kore-eda's meticulous portray of modern Japanese minds, but the excellent Suzu Hirose and K?ji Yakusho were still able to make this film a memorable one with their pivotal roles. Some might say that this film lacks a little bit of finesse as Kore-eda rushed to deliver his message of exposing the serious prejudicial issues of the current Japanese legal system. Partially I agree with this sentiment, but it seems that Kore-eda never intended to deliver a "wholesome" experience, he just wanted to share his perspectives of the modern Japanese society with a lot of nuances (nothing totally good, nothing absolutely bad, it is all up to everyone's own judgement), many layers of emotional connections from one to another (despite the ever existence of social barriers like "traditions", "morals", "ethics", preconception - the "prisoner" in this film asks himself and his lawyer again and again about whether or not he should have been born), and many seemingly ordinary lives that still deserve care and attention from the society. In that aspect, Kore-eda has once again delivered an amazing experience for the audience.

  • Jan 14, 2018

    A complex film that questions if the truth matters to judiciary. Full review: http://bit.ly/2D4tR2P

    A complex film that questions if the truth matters to judiciary. Full review: http://bit.ly/2D4tR2P