Monday, April 13, 2009

Jmovie review: Yogisha X no kenshin/ Suspect X


I was never a fan of Galileo. It had an interesting concept of a physics professor solving mysteries but it was lacking in execution. A lot of episodes were very bland and the use of science very limited. I went into Suspect X with hardly any expectations. I had enjoyed the dorama special just because of Nagasawa Masami but I neither cared for the 2D characters or the uninspired mysteries that Galileo faces.



Imagine my surprise when Suspect X turned out to be one of the best jmovies I had ever seen despite being a Galileo movie. Rather, what makes it so good is that its not a Galileo movie. Its as if someone had a script for a brilliant mystery/thriller movie but couldn't get funding and decided to case Galileo and his boring sidekick Kaoru as supporting characters to get it made. Yes, despite the fact that Fukuyama Masaharu and Shibasaki Kou get top billing, they are only minor role players. In fact Shibasaki Kou's character is completely irrelevant. The only flaw about this movie is the 2 hours running time which would have been trimmed of excess Galileo useless stuff.


This movie belongs to Shinichi Tsutsumi (Yamato Nadeshiko) who plays Ishigami, an old friend of Galileo who tries to cover up the crime of Yasuko, played by Hanaoka Yasuko (Nani-sama). Unlike the standard Galileo format, we know who the killers are and there is no science involved. The only question is how the cover up was planned. This is a thriller about how Ishigami tries to stay one step ahead of Galileo in protecting Yasuko. This is less a show about how but why. A study of human motivations and emotions in the face of extreme pressure.



Tsutsumi Shinichidoes an incredible acting job as Ishigami. His character is probably the first and most well rounded character to ever appear in Galileo. In fact, he is almost a mirror of Galileo save that he is not an unchanging main character of a series. I love how the movie tries to mess with the audience's empathy by making the killers sympathetic. I was wishing someone would kill Shibasaki Kou not just because all her scenes are a waste of time and ruins the pacing or they could have written Galileo as a cop who was knew Ishigami from way back.


Tsutsumi Shinichi was always good in jdoramas but this is the type of performance that elevates the movie to another level. If there is any justice in this world, he should be one of the highest paid actors in Japan along with Abe Hiroshi. Yasuko Matsuyuki does a great job as well. I liked her since Nani-sama and Midnight Rain but sadly she hasn't been on many shows past few years. I'd recommend both shows if you can find them. Nani-sama was a generic boring show but she somehow transformed it to be a pretty fun jdorama.


Suspect X will keep you thinking and guessing until the end and damn, the end if fucking good. It is a crime that Tsutsumi Shinichi won awards as a supporting actor. Fukuyama Masaharu did jack in this movie. It was Tsutsumi Shinichi all the way. He was the heart and soul of the movie. Best Japanese movie from 2008? Fuck yeah. Better than Okuribito IMHO. This is must watch stuff. They should have deleted all the Shibasaki Kou scenes and renamed the movie Suspect X: Ishigami will make you wish Galileo loses. Get this movie now!

6 comments:

animemiz said...

I would second and say that this is a great movie to watch. Tsutsumi Shinichi was just great in his role.. and so that should be commended for.

Anonymous said...

The movie is based on a novel which is part of the Galileo series written by Higashino Keigo, which btw won the 2006 Naoki award. Shibasaki Kou's character doesn't exist in the original novels and was created for the silver screen just to provide a love interest for Fukuyama Masaharu.

Despite the original TV series's shortcomings, given the state of current JDrama I'd kill to have a 2nd season over anything that's on offer right now. Shikaotoko - also based on a Naoki award nominated novel - is the last good series I've watched. Love Shuffle isn't bad but nothing spectacular. OL Nippon was great up to ep. 6, from which point it degenerated into cliche'd and overwrought melodrama.

Akiramike said...

Does the series follow the novels plotline wise? I always found the stories/mysteries in the series very bland and Suspect X is just a complete departure from anything we've seen in the series.

This season looks like a very good one and hopefully will make up for the last one. Have you watched Gonzo?

Anonymous said...

Then you and I are watching the exact opposites. I find the crimes and mysteries in Galileo series brilliant, especially the 1st episode and the movie a huge departure from the series in terms of tone. It is much more serious than the series itself. Yes I agree the actress was wasted in the movie but in the series she was pretty much the highlight of the series thanks to her chemistry with Fukuyama Masaharu and also she is not those heavy breathers that we often seen in Japanese actresses, the actress Yasuko included if I may add. I love the series, love the movie. Science and all, they are just to serve the plot. Watching the series and then the movie will definitely explain why Yukawa is an important character, one of which the movie can't do without. yes I am a fan but frankly if the entire movie is just about suspect x and stars only the actor, I doubt it would have top the ticket sales. The 2 stars deserve top billing because this is based on the TV series. Maybe it is best you rewatch the TV series to gain a better understanding on the movie. ANd the one you liked, the episode zero, that's the worst of the entire series.

Clover and Cookies said...

PLEASE! Could you tell me where I can watch it Online?

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