Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Jmovie review: The Snow White Murder Case / Shiroyukihime Satsujin Jiken

Wow. It is not often that jmovies come up with a gem like this; a tight murder mystery movie with social commentary and great acting. This girl from a cosmetics company is killed and is dubbed Snow White. Ayano Gou plays the audience's POV character and he works for a television station and is very active on twitter talking about ramen.

Ayano Gou gets a phone call from his old university friend Renbutso Misako who also works at the same company with information on Snow White. Ayano Gou grabs his camera and starts interviewing people connected to the case as he gets closer to the truth.

I like how The Snow White Murder Case takes a look at mass media in Japan. I remember there was a murder case while I was in Japan and every freaking day and seemingly all the time, they would talk endlessly about the case to the point of reporting about trivial things and I'm not talking about your 6 o'clock news.

To me, it went pass news reporting to padding content to television and The Snow White Murder Case looks at the power of media and how it can be abused. Why not report on just the confirmed facts and let the police to their job? Its partly due to the 24 hour news cycle and the need for people consume new information every hour.

Its very similar to sports reporting. Even mundane information becomes news and false reporting is forgotten because there is a new batch of news/rumours/speculation to look forward to. The truth does not matter as much as content creation.

Connected to the power of media is twitter. Ayano Gou's character uses twitter throughout the movie, not just as a way to voice his thoughts to the audience but also to disseminate and receive intel. I love how The Snow White Murder Case looks at the power and danger of social media without being preachy. I thought about giving up at the beginning of the movie cause trying to listen to the dialogue and reading the twitter comments at the same time was so difficult that's only in the beginning.

Lastly the movie also uses the tried and true everyone's got their own version of the story to tell and its up to the audience and Ayano Gou's character to try and piece everything together before the end.

Must watch movie. I haven't seen a Japanese movie this good in quite some time.


Mrmz said...

I must agree I loved that movie. I started and took me a while to get passed the 1st 10 minutes because it was hard differentiating between when they were saying and tweeting (reading the subs) but once I got passed that my eyes were glued to the screen wanted to know what REALLY happened.

Anonymous said...

i watched one with chinese subs adn they did the twitter translation and transitions directly under the original tweets.

its really hard to keep up with it and i swear that its tough to do all those transitions.

Antspace said...

Yeah. That was a pretty cool movie. The whole atmosfere somehow reminded me of Paredo.
Btw. Another really nice movie I've seen lately is Tamako in Moratorium. Maeda Atsuko is actually somewhat talented as an actress : D and at least she chooses interesting projects lately.

Anonymous said...

I recently watched about 18 hours of Japanese movies on a couple of flights, and this one was definitely the highlight of the bunch. I was surprised to see the Kanjiya Shihori character using the "Where"s Wally" book while signaling her friend (and it even got a nod in the end credits). Was it to show how long she'd been shut up in her room? Good story, good acting.

Akiramike said...

Mrmz & Anon: More than being hard, I was also annoyed with this talking on the phone while tweeting character.

Antspace, I had to reread your statement a few times. Are you sure you were of sound mind when you saw Tamako in Moratorium? lol

Anon: 18 Hrs of Jpnese movies! I don't remember whether they said how long she had been a hikikomori for.

praveen said...

Watched this after your review. Wow, truly a well crafted movie. Looked up for the writer (a bad habit of mine) -found to have acclaim for "Confessions". But i'll try "kyogu".

P.S: The violin piece is awesome. Trying hard for the OST.

Antspace said...

"Akiramike said...

Antspace, I had to reread your statement a few times. Are you sure you were of sound mind when you saw Tamako in Moratorium? lol"

Hihihi... Yeah, I like movies about slacker types in which nothing really happens (−_−;)

Akiramike said...

Praveen: Looking at Minato Kanae's works that have been adapted, I didn't like Confessions nor Kita no Kanariatachi but I liked Shokuzai.

Ersby said...

Thanks for the heads up. Loved this film.

4545 said...

Good movie overall, but I absolutely love how everything came together, right into the ending.

Was surprised with Inoue Mao's acting being very decent too. (Used to avoid her stuffs since I first saw her in 2007.)

Thanks for pimping this, Mike.

Akiramike said...

I don't think I've ever seen an Inoue Mao show and thought her acting sucked. Its my pleasure to pimp must watch shows.