Tetsuya Nakashima does a great job with directing this stunning and completely engrossing film, ‘Confessions’.
Takako Matsu plays Ms. Moriguchi, a seemingly meek and passive school teacher at first, in amongst the sea of rowdy and disrespectful middle school children in her classroom. She starts off telling her students that she will soon cease to be their teacher, then goes on to tell her own story, a haunting story about her AIDS infected ex-husband, and the young daughter that she lost in a drowning accident… or was it?
We soon discover Moriguchi is far from the meek, submissive character she first led on to be, we discover the undeniable anger she possesses from the loss of her daughter and her cunning plan of seeking vengeance.
‘Confessions’, much like ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ uses its three act structure to tell three different stories from three different characters’ points of view. The audience is then given the opportunity to see how each story and each character ultimately affect each other, bringing the story to one of the most amazing climaxes I have yet to see.
Outstanding performances by all the students in the film, including the central three: Yukito Nishii (who plays Shuya Watanabe), Kaoru Fujiwara (who plays Naoki Shimomura) and Ai Hashimoto (who plays Mizuki Kitahara). These young actors bring such realism to the film, giving the viewer an insight to how cruel and manipulative children can be.
The cinematography is another wonderful highlight of this film, utilizing spotlights, slow-motion and extreme close-ups as beautiful story telling devices.
Rarely do I give a film a perfect score, but ‘Confessions’ deserves this without a doubt. I was on the edge of my seat the other time, hanging onto every word of dialogue, every frame of action. This film is nothing short of a masterpiece.
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