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Freezer [DVD] [2000]
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2006
Chihiro has made a new life for herself after being gang-raped on video-tape. One of her rapists tracks her down and announces to her that he's arranged a reunion of her attackers and she's to be their host. He then moves in with her and her desperation leads her to take dramatic action. This is a very intriguing story and an intense watch. However it's quite difficult to understand a lot of the characters' behaviour due to the difference in Asian and Western cultures. It's important to push that aside and allow yourself to be drawn in. If you can do that then you should (for want of a better word) "enjoy" this movie.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2003
The Freezer or "Freeze Me" is some what of a curious film. Given to us by Takashi Ishii, who is the man behind the Gonin and Black Angel films, Ishii one again explores the distressing experience of rape.
Our female protagonist in this picture is Chirhiro, a women pushed to her emotional and mental limit. However when memories of being raped by three men are dug up when their sudden and somewhat alarming presence becomes a nightmare of the deepest pain.
Here is were I have some problems with the character Chirhiro. While she is obviously alarmed at the arrival of these men, literally one by one, I feel that she does not fully make the attempt to escape her attackers. I will not dwell on this subject as many explanations could be given. Perhaps revenge is and always has been at the back of her mind.
I found the most disturbing point about this film is the use of certain camera angles and movements that drag you into the harsh and darkest moments making you feel like you are actually there. The use of looking though the lens of a camcorder or TV screen is also used effectively. Ultimately it is the film ending that seems to shed the most light on Chirhiro.
I always hate it when a review tells you everything that goes on in a film so I wont tell you why for example it is called "freezer" though I'm sure you can guess.
The DVD is lacking in extra features. Filmographies and film notes by Justin Bowyer are the only ones included. The print has occasional blemishes but nothing really to worry about and is overall good. The film gets four but because of the package it only gets a three.
Recommended to all Japanese film fans especially those of Takashi Ishii.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2003
This is a film about a girl who is held captive in her own and violently raped. Rape is quite a tricky subject to handle in film but I think it was done fairly well here. The main problem is that if a film-maker shows it too explicitly they get accused of eroticising it, wheras if they don't show enough then they are often accused of glossing over it. I think the director is playing with the audience a bit; some shots of the main character are from quite a "male-gaze" perspective, yet the film seems to be very critical of pornography (the fact that Chihiro's rape was filmed, and the line pointed out in the Film Notes on the DVD for example). I think some viewers might not understand why Chihiro doesn't just go to the police in the first place or something like that, but this is because in Japan it is one of the biggest shames to have been raped. Part of the point of the film is to point out how some of the extreme aspects of reservation and conservatism lead to suffering in Japanese society.
The film is pretty scary once it gets going. There's a very strong tension held throughout. It does feel a little long though, and the ending is very japanese - i.e inconclusive. The Japanese like surreal endings which don't wrap things up neatly. Not giving anything away, it's quite arty but fairly logical. You have to fill in the blanks yourself really, but I think that's best as it leaves you thinking.
I think Freezer's a pretty good film, quite overlooked as it's far more thoughtful and intelligent than most rape-revenge drama's. I don't know whether you'd watch it twice, but it's well worth watching. Oh, and if you don't want to know too much about the plot, don't read the back of the box or watch the trailer.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2003
I really like this movie, I'd already seen the other Ishii's films, and it's one of his masterpieces!
It's perfectly directed. The plot comes from the ordinary common, to the bizzarest nightmare. The acting is awsome, the main actress does a wonderful job, knows how to express this radical change. The sexual moments are very well shooted, neither too explicit nor too soft, a neutral balance.
The DVD is really well done, it has the original Stereo sound track, and the image master is in perfect conditions. Unfortunately there are no more extras than the movie trailer and more-atractions from Tartan Video. The subtitles are accurate, and easy to read, far better than any dubbing.
The movie itself rocks, and I don't think you'll get disappointed. However, you have to realise that this isn't a Hollywood blockbuster, so the quality of the release isn't comparable with the mainstream standard, but it's good enough not to alter the quality of the film.
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10 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2003
at first, i have to admitt, although a big fan of Takashi Miike's films, it took me a long while to get around to watching this one. from the back cover synopsis 'freezer' seemed that little bit too dark, even for Takashi! but the fact that i hadnt seen it bugged me, so i finally rented it and i am glad that i did. at times the film is a little uncomfortable to watch and as promised - and expected - it is increadably disturbing - but what a film! it is part comic book (the first chimpa rapist character, for example), however, soked in a rare realism that only a select few hollywood and japanese directors seem to capture. for the duration of the film, you, the viewer, are totally convinced by the female protagonists' plight and can understand her frustration. by the end of the film, her situation has moved from horrific to comical - and then in the final few minutes reverses again.
'freezer', i would recomend to anyone whe enjoys to participate when they watch a film, it is prehaps Takashi Miike's finest film, but be warned, it is not a film for the faint hearted.
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