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This review is from: The Bad Sleep Well  [DVD] (DVD)
Deals with the forever perennial topic of Crony capitalism. The Kereitsu of post war Japan fuelling the miracle were founded upon this principle. It is a term describing an economy where success is founded upon close relationships between business people and government officials.
This close relationship, knitted together by mafia or feudal connections ensures that when contracts are awarded, pay offs ensue. It is the curse of the "tendering process." In this case it focuses upon a major land deal where the one with the highest bid won the contract and then had to pay a stipend for the result. Except at one point the deal turned sour and pressure was placed on the mid ranking dignitaries to undertake the honourable thing.
The film is founded upon suicide and loss, but where as most films of this ilk are clear black and white with a resolution which ties up all the knots in one big sugar blown bow, this is based more upon what happens in real life, hence the title.
The running time seemed to stretch half way through the night and at first with the explanations of the deal, I became a little lost, as the main characters were introduced. But after a while and a deeper concentration the film began to appear. As a revenge film it offers much more than a Michael Winner shimmy across the surface of a shallow gene pool. This film plunges into far deeper waters and it is ironic that Japan appears so consumer shallow on its surface but Shakespearean deep within its arts. This film plunges the knife into the emotional desire for revenge and the wobbling rationale to continue the graft but looking at the casualties and how bizzness works hand in glove with the mafia.
It is slow paced compared to the US genre, less obvious in its depiction and far deeper in its emotional swirl, even though by the end it was difficult to empathise (for me at least) with anyone. Each has their glaring faults and the Director is keep to point this out. There is a brutal honesty in Asia to show the warts and all depiction of everyday life. What worries me is that this type of film making no longer appears to exist. By comparison modern films are just ice skating upon the presentation of life, staring at their underwear.
Where did a glare into the abyss go?