|Ordell Robbie||3.5||Promising but Pretentious|
Although it's far from being the thriller of the scale of Seven and Usual Suspects hailed by asian movie buffs, Cure deserves the attention fot those who want to discover the qualities of Kurosawa's works and his limits as a director. The movies makes interesting observations on contemporary Japan such as the place of woman in a male dominated japanese job universe or the masked hate between working colleagues. And there's of course the famous use of the sound to create an hypnosis atmosphere, a real sense of frame, some snake like camera moves and a rythm trying to capture the hypnosis state. Whereas Hollywood thrillers are based on their narrative force, Kurosawa sees it as mainly an experience of senses leading us to the characters' brains. This said, the movie achieves too much its goal, putting sometimes the viewer into sleep. But the thing which prevents the movie from being totally convincing is the extreme pretentiousness of its dialogues, especially the double meanings of the amnesiac guy's speeches: the "i don't know who i am", the killer asking many times to the cops "who are you?", the "it's an entertainment crime" looking like Pascal philosophy for the dummies or the "it must be the demon's work" alluding to the lack of morality in an amnesiac Japan. We didn't mention the inspector punching a piece of meat symbolizing his hate of humanity. And contrarely to Kubrick or Cronenberg, Kurosawa doesn't film human beings, but puppets of his philosophical vision: for example he doesn't imagine that the coming back of the subconscious can lead to anything else than violent reactions. One other thing: Kurosawa often mentioned his love for B movies. Actually, his movie is at least 20 minutes too long and would have worked much better if it had the B movie reglementary format. In comparison, a classic of the genre such as Seven suffers at the second viewing from its flashy aesthetic and a twist which seems just there to impress. Cure doesn't have these flaws. But that doesn't make it a great movie.