Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Suitei Yuuzai 3-5
Where do I start? So many things I want to say about this dorama but its probably easier to start with the bad points. As mentioned earlier, the journey that the journalist Seiji goes through is, 'Oh, I didn't know my article would hurt the families of the victim and Shinozuka. I'm going to wallow in self pity and try to write articles that will not cause pain to a single soul'. The premis of Suitei Yuzai is an innocent man who was wrongly convicted and somehow it has devolved into a veteren journalist finally realising that people get offended by his articles.
You can see the writer of Suitei Yuuzai trying to create this maelstrom of heavy emotion like in Soredemo Ikite Yuki. The innocent man, Yoshio who spent 12 years in prison. His daughter who refuses to see him because he pleaded guilty. The journalist who accused him of murder in print. The police officer who got the confession out of him. The victim's family who don't know who to hate anymore. Its a goldmind for drama.
Yet the big scenes mostly fall flat. Why? Because Suitei Yuuzai breaks the cardinal rule of writing. Show the audience instead of TELLING THE AUDIENCE. In Soredemo, the dialogue is natural and you feel like you're a fly in the wall, observing the two families. In Suitei Yuuzai, it feels so contrived. There is no build up. Its just a big arrow with the words, 'hey look at this great scene of angst and pain because the actors are trying their damnedest to cry.'
Like Mimura telling the audience that everyone in her family blames themselves for her sister's death. Came out of nowhere and felt so shoehorned in. Why bother putting it in when you don't have time to do it properly? Lots of scenes of characters doing their woe is me speech. This is one show where I can say Nakamura Toru is overacting, or at least he looks like his overacting because his character is so stupid.
I think the reason that Suitei Yuuzai fails is that the writer tries to pack too many things into 5 episodes. We've got all the issues in the second paragraph. There's also the reason Seiji's wife divorcing him because his family is always afraid for his life and his colleague which we hardly know dying so we can have another crying scene I don't care about. The politician using Yoshio for his image. Kuroki Hitomi's aim in this whole story. Too many issues to address in so little time.
Its a damn shame because episode 1 and 5 are superb. Ignoring the script, the directing, music and casting on the whole is awesome. I was watching episode 5 thinking this is so good. How could they stuff it up so much? The main mystery which bookends the dorama is decent. There's this scene in ep 5 when Shinozuka looks out the window and sees the unblinking Jinnai Takanori and you can see a gamut of emotions starting to creep up his face as he sits down with an almost exasperated body language screaming what should I do?
That scene tells me Shinozuka should have been the main character of the series because that's where the conflicting emotions lie. The maelstrom of emotions is already within one character. Of course its not like Shinozuka doesn't play a major part but the backbone of Suitei Yuuzai is this reporting running around afraid to hurt people and crying in half his scenes. Shinozuka is like this silent character that you know only from his interactions from other people instead of observing him. The story should have been through his viewpoint. Think of how much better the above scene where Motokariya Yuika breaks down would be.
Yeah, I know they needed Seiji's viewpoint to solve the mystery. Doesn't mean that they couldn't have excised most of his useless personal stuff and used him mostly for plot device. I can't say it an absolute don't watch because of how good the first and last episodes are. Actually, just watch 1,4 and 5 and ignore 2 and 3.