Murder mysteries intrigue us. It is not just about who committed the crime but also about the motive and the situation which compels someone to commit such a gruesome act. Usually, murder mysteries are about finding who did it and how. They don't really focus on the "why". Is it possible for a human being to just enjoy the act of killing someone? Is remorse or regret a rare commodity in murderers? These questions are seldom answered. Hirokazu Kore-eda's The Third Murder answers a few of these and yet leaves you with a lot of questions and is definitely another feather in the director's cap.
Background and Story:
The movie begins at a riverbed where a man is murdered and his body is burned. Misumi (Kōji Yakusho) has confessed to his crimes and is visited by his lawyers Shigemori (Masaharu Fukuyama) and Settsu (Kōtarō Yoshida). Shigemori's only objective is to reduce the sentence from a death penalty to life imprisonment. Misumi was recently released after being arrested for two murders. Shigemori earlier in the movie was not very concerned about the truth he just wanted to display the facts that were good for the narrative to the jury. While the lawyers probe and investigate further to know Misumi's motivation to commit the crime, Misumi declines that he committed it.
The movie answers a lot of questions about a human's psyche and leaves us with much more. The way Misumi keeps changing his statement throughout the movie gives us an insight into how everything is not as simple as it seems. Shigemori goes from a lawyer who couldn't care less about the truth to the one who wants to find it out at any cost. Hirozaku has directed the movie really well especially the climax sequence in where the lawyer and the prisoner sitting on either side of a thick plexiglass.
Many questions like how the law treats someone who has committed the murder with the intention of burglary and someone who committed the murder and stole something as an afterthought are posed for the audience to figure out.
Why You Should Watch:
This murder mystery may seem very simple but there is a lot more going underneath it. If you like movies that keep you engaged and question, you should not miss this one. Lucky for you, there are quite a few more shows of this movie.
What You Should Watch Next:
If you have already seen this, you can watch movies like Redoubtable (Le Redoubtable), 24 Frames and Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts. Don’t forget to read our reviews of Wajib, Beauty and the Dogs and The Party, and catch them all, only at the Mumbai Film Festival.
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