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  • Film
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
Villain - Eri Fukatsu and Satoshi Tsumabuki - Imgur(2).jpg

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars
Garlanded with awards at Japan’s Academy Awards, ‘Villain’ offers a bleak and rounded, if ultimately conservative, take on a criminal act and its impact on those involved. Following the death of a young woman, police pursue her links to both a humble construction worker (Satoshi Tsumabuki, pictured right) who lives with his grandmother (Kirin Kiki) and a gauche, wealthy dilettante (Masaki Okada); meanwhile, the victim’s father (Akira Emoto) struggles to keep his world from falling apart. Based on a popular novel by Shuichi Yoshida, Lee Sang-il’s picture depicts a generation characterised by loneliness and selfish urges amid a landscape of flash cars, online dating and love hotels, their better instincts only occasionally emerging  through a pricked conscience or the example of elders. The performances and photography are robust and the film does a decent job of humanising those involved, up to a point. But the characterisation is two-dimensional, the storytelling is spotty – a major plot point requires preposterously lax policing – and the relentlessly glum tone proves draining over 140 minutes.
Written by Ben Walters

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 19 August 2011
  • Duration:140 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Lee Sang-Il
  • Cast:
    • Eri Fukatsu
    • Satoshi Tsumabuki
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