Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Kokuhaku (Confessions)

Despite its confusing twists and turns, Confessions is an engaging revenge drama that probes into teen violence.

Due to the death of her daughter, Yuko Moriguchi (Takako Matsu) is quitting her job. She makes one final speech in front of her unruly class of 7th graders, and calmly tells them that she knows who killed her daughter. As a matter fact, the two culprits are in class. Since the two are minors who will not be punished for what they did, she decided to give the class her final lesson by adding a little something in their milk. Through a series of flashbacks the movie shows  the confessions of  the students involved in the incident.

Confessions is a slow paced movie  but its superb direction, cinematography, acting and confrontational subject will hold your attention. The first 30 minutes locks in you in and the rest of the film presents itself like a music video.

A perfectly integrated soundtrack goes along with beautiful slow motion shots in dark shades and some gray skies that cast a gloomy look to the film. A well written script propels its characters’ narratives who have their own confessions to make. Takako Matsu’s monologue sounds harmless but feels ominous even before she delivers her final lesson. The young actors were good too in portraying malevolent kids driven by their own circumstances.

Combining all of this, you end up with an opera about teen violence. It focuses on intense adolescent emotions and delinquent whims that come out in destructive ways.

The movie is visually captivating and thought provoking but its twists and turns are confusing. You don’t know what’s real and what’s not and where you are in the story. It ends with one cynical punchline that still leaves you wondering.

Nonetheless the film is a stylish thriller  that crawls its way into your consciousness.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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