WORLD CINEMA’S FINEST

Twisted crime

68-the-third-murder Film: The Third Murder (2017, Japanese)

Misumi bludgeons his former boss to death, burns the body and steals his wallet. He then goes to the cops and confesses his crime. State defender Shigemori reaches out to Misumi, who gives inconsistent versions about the murder. Shigemori tells him that he is looking at death penalty as he had already served 30 years for a double homicide earlier.

Shigemori is initially concerned only about the case and not about helping the seemingly cold and indifferent Misumi. But, as he learns more about the crime, he begins to doubt Misumi’s version of the story. Disturbing revelations about the murdered man and Misumi’s unexpected plea that he was not guilty confuse Shigemori further.

Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, the film throws up a few existential questions on the precariousness of human nature and the dubiety of good and evil. The crime, which seemed to be an open and shut case at first, is unraveled a la Rashomon. The Third Murder, which was screened at the 74th Venice International Film Festival, is an intriguing thriller with plenty of intelligent ambiguity.

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