Confessions review

screen pic from confessions REVENGE films are a staple part of movie-making in the Far East.

Some are great – Oldboy and I Saw The Devil – but every now and then one is released that throws a spanner in the works.

Up until now, with such a film blood and gore is expected.

However, Tetsuya Nakashima‘s dramatic thriller-cum-horror needs neither of those things. It relies on heart-wrenching performances, stunning camera work and, most of all, brilliant twists in the tale.

It all begins with school teacher Yuko Moriguchi (Takako Matsu) addressing her class with a detailed description of her pregnancy and how it affected her relationship with the father.

Things take a turn for the worse when she reveals to the pupils that her daughter died on the school grounds – and at the hands of members of her class.

Her revelation that she knows who is responsible for the death of her child puts the cat amongst the pigeons.

But in an added twist, she has set in motion her own brand of revenge – and it does induce a sharp intake of breath when Moriguchi announces what she has done.

From that point on Confessions is an interesting character study in how the guilty deal with having the tables turned on them.

Teenagers can sometimes come across as remorseless so watching them come to terms with an horrific set of circumstances is edge-of-your-seat stuff.

Without any real action, it’s surprising that Confessions is at no point boring. The quieter points in the film are punctuated by lovely cinematography and scenes flit between slow motion and regular speed.

It’s a refreshing change of pace to see a revenge film that is a slow-burner.

With more of a focus on the characters than physical torture – in this instance, the mental torture is just as excruciating as anything seen in more gratuitous movies – viewers can invest their time in getting to know what makes the main players tick.

And as proceedings reach a climax, it leaves a feeling akin to being slapped in the face.

Confessions is a powerful, provocative and jaw-dropping tale of facing up to your sins that is bound to end up on many ‘best of’ lists in 2011.

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