JP / 124 min / Color / Fuji Television Network, Amuse, Gaga Corp. Dir: Hirokazu Kore-eda Pro: Hirokazu Kore-eda Scr: Hirokazu Kore-eda Cin: Takimoto Mikiya Mus: Ludovico Einaudi Cast: Fukuyama Masaharu, Yakusho Koji, Hirose Suzu, Hashizume Isao, Ichikawa Mikako, Matsuoka Izumi, Misushima Shinnosuke, Saito Yuki. Synopsis: Leading attorney Shigemori takes on the defence of murder-robbery suspect Misumi who served jail time for another murder 30 years ago. Shigemori’s chances of winning the case seem low – his client freely admits his guilt, despite facing the death penalty if he is convicted. As he digs deeper into the case, as he hears the testimonies of the victim’s family and Misumi himself, the once confident Shigemori begins to doubt whether his client is the murderer after all… It is the new film from internationally-acclaimed director Kore-eda Hirokazu – the powerfully moving story of a man struggling to find the truth while questioning his own faith in the law (Source: TIFF). Release Dates: 5 September 2017 (Venice Film Festival) 8 September 2017 (Toronto International Film Festival) 9 September 2017 (Japan) 27 October 2017 (Spain) (Original title: Sandome no Satsujin) (Spanish title: El tercer asesinato) IMDb Rating: 6.8
It’s been a while since Begoña and I went to the cinema, but finally we had the chance to go and see The Third Murder (2017) directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. Previously we had seen some of his films like After the Storm (2016), Still Walking (2008), and perhaps some other one, what it was already a certain guarantee. And I wasn’t disappointed. The story, a courtroom drama, begins when ‘a refined attorney of impressive self-control. Shigemori (Fukuyama Masaharu, the rich dad in Like Father, Like Son) is called in by his older associate Settsu (Kotaro Yoshida) to take over an open-and-shut case. A man who has spent 30 years in prison for a double murder and been released has confessed to killing his boss, the owner of a small factory, and burning his body. There’s no question that Misumi (Yakusho Koji) is guilty; their job is to get him a life sentence instead of the death penalty. The problem is he keeps changing his version of what happened.’ (Source: The Hollywood Reporter). And both the photography of Takimoto Mikiya as the music by Ludovico Einaudi enhance the quality of the film. The Third Murder is a captivating puzzle. (Peter Bradshaw at The Guardian)
From Wikipedia: Hirokazu Kore-eda was inspired to write a courtroom thriller after conversing with his friend, a lawyer, about the latter’s experiences in court. Kore-eda realized that there’s a gap between the Japanese’ perception of the court as the space where people aim for the truth and what it actually is: a space for lawyers “to make adjustments to the conflict [of] interest.” From it, Kore-eda based the background of his script on the speculation of “what would happen if a lawyer really started wanting to know the truth?”
According to Kore-eda, the script was the hardest part to tackle in making the film, bringing together seven lawyers over several months to stage mock trials and mock interviews of a criminal while he is taking note of their language and thought process.
Other than the subject matter, another departure for Kore-eda was the film’s use of the Cinemascope format, which he has not yet employed in his works until this film.
About the filmmaker: Hirokazu Kore-eda was born in Tokyo, where he studied literature at Waseda University. He is a master dramatist whose features include Maborosi (95), After Life (98), Distance (01), Nobody Knows (04), Hana (06), Still Walking (08), Air Doll (09), I Wish (11), Like Father, Like Son (13), Our Little Sister (15), and After the Storm (16), all of which have played the Festival. The Third Murder (17) is his latest film. (Source: TIFF)