Liam's Review of Koroshiya 1 (Ichi the Killer)
For me this is one of those pieces of cinema that needs to be seen by everyone. While many people have slammed it for its highly graphic and disturbing content, indeed on a showing at film club in the college I attend it caused a mass walk out. It is a very powerful emotive film which looks at many untouched taboo subjects and subversely deals with them sensitively. Those who have seen this film may question my use of the word 'sensitively' so I shall explain my reasoning. Ichi the Killer may be some of the most detailed violent scenes ever put to film print. Yet if you look past this, toward the powerful performances of the two leads and the point of the violence you see what it achieves.
The point of the violence is to highlight the smallest details of human emotion. Ichi a character so horribly lonely and abused, it becomes hard not to grow a connection to him. A life of abuse is then dealt with via his abuse of others. Kakihara (who rather confusingly is the man laden on the covers, which can prove quite confusing at first.) is just as psychotically disturbed as Ichi yet on the opposite end of the spectrum. All the violence Ichi feels compelled to inflict on a person, Kakihara wishes to feel upon him. In a perfect world they would be together. Kakihara is probably one of the funniest and loveable psychopath murderers, ever imagined. Once more due to an awesomely comical yet unnervingly frightening performance you feel attached to him and his actions.
Since the films revolve around these two men, and who they are and what they are it was imperative they were crafted to perfection. They were and because of this you begin to see the underlying point. That people are vastly different, and sometimes they can be dangerous people. Yet there is reasoning and logic behind what seems to be the most insane of things. And that is what 'Ichi the Killer' is a way of looking at the insane, to get a better understanding of what it is to be sane.