Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Suicide Club (aka Suicide Circle)


2001 (DVD) Japanese version, with English subtitles
Rating: NR
Running Time: 95 Minutes

Directed by: Shion Sono

Cast: Ryo Ishibashi (Detective Kuroda), Masatoshi Nagase, Tamao Sato, Mai Housyou, Takashi Nomura
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Its a rainy day and you are standing on the pavement awaiting the arrival of the bus -- this has been your routine for the past many years now. There have been many times when a rash driver has driven right through a pothole filled with accumulated dirty rain water, splashing you all over and giving a brownish tinge to your wardrobe.

Today it's different. Imagine that the mini-tsunami that befalls you now is composed of blood, not mud.

Good, now imagine that the scene is a railway station and the blood that splashes on you is the mixture of that of 54 young Japanese teenagers. This is how Suicide club starts off. A routine morning for the unassuming train passengers changes their life forever; something that most won't be able to forget in their lifetimes. The impact for some would have been so great that most will just freak out and start hallucinating at the very sight of anything red: red wine, red roses, red signals, probably even the amber sun during sunsets. Appalling, really...Suicide club seems to reek gore from start to end.

The bizarre train suicide incident has now left the Japanese detectives baffled, especially Detective Kuroda who suspects more than just bizarre coincidences. Even more baffling is an anonymous caller who mentions a web-site that seems to track the suicides even before they happen. Initially, the police seem to think of this as an accident. Not so, if they would have seen how gleefully the students held hands, shouted to the count of 3 and simply jumped onto the path of an oncoming train -- not to forget the smile on their faces.

The incidents do not see to abate anytime soon. The suicides continue at various locations around the city, at hospitals, schools, and random and seemingly unconnected people seem to fall prey to this. There is also no discernable pattern to this. What also raises curiosity is a roll of human flesh that has been stitched together to form a bundle, a signature left behind after every such incident. Finally the pieces of skin are traced back to the suicide "victims".

The Japanese police are still not willing to classify the investigation as a homicide; instead they are very content to approach this as a mass hysteria of suicides. How the scenario changes with one single incident that shocks the entire police fraternity and what is behind this cult-influenced behavior is what the rest of the movie harps on.

Make sure to not watch this on either an empty stomach or a filled one -- and if you are a gore and blood fan, this is your movie. If you liked the spraying of blood, like a punctured garden hose pipe all over, in Kill Bill, you will probably see the positive side of this movie. Do not expect the end of the movie to shock you beyond belief; it does end tamely and I wish there was more substance in it. A movie to watch if you have nothing better to do...make sure you don't contemplate much over the movie and don't set expectations too high.

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