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Fantasia 2018: THE LAPLACE'S WITCH review

THE LAPLACE'S WITCH review
JAPAN
2018
116 min

We open right away to a mystery. A science mystery! It is a layer cake with implications to its native movie world and to real life. A lot of self-reference and a bit of self-deprecation as well from Takashi Miike here. In a fun manner. For a murder mystery, the theater hall kept echoing with laughter. As we delve deeper, the plot erupts open like a buffet of shocks and revelation.

Professor Shusuke Aoe's (Sho Sakurai) help and expertise in geochemistry is requested by police to determine the cause of a two homicides. Two homicides that partake in different locations and caused by the same culprit; hydrogen sulfide, that son of a b****.

On his investigation, he happens upon Madoka (Suzu Hirose) who herself becomes not only vital to the case but is also deeply entrenched in its history.  

This reviewer was very partial to miss Suzu's striking beauty. Her looks however paled in comparison to her acting skill. She commanded a range of emotions and delivered an uncanny performance. Her facial control is so precise, during a flashback scene as her younger self, it truly seemed to be another actress.  Upon closer inspection, it was still Hirose. Perfectly displaying her character as an innocent young adult and shedding the hardened facial attitude of experience and disenfranchisement. Amazing.

From this point of the plot, it becomes a family affair. One that either does or does not endure the test of time and betrayal.

The LaPlace demon philosophy was a huge player/ingredient in the movie, obvious by the title. It was a fascinating new perspective on the 18th century scholar's thought experiment. One mixed with science and human capability. With a Miike twist.

It wouldn't be Fantastia 2018 without the inclusion of work from the brilliant and eccentric Takashi Miike.  

A warning to Miike fans who are fond of his wilder, bloodier projects; this particular endover is of an adult nature with a matured hand at the craft. That is not to say that the craziness is not present. It is and this firm, it chooses to wear a subtler skin in order to increment the impact.

 

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