Friday, 25 February 2011

Ichi the Killer

 Ichi the Killer
Based on the ultra-violent manga of the same name, Ichi the Killer is a weird and demented ride into the depths of human insanity. Directed by the always controversial Takashi Miike, the film deals with extreme taboos of violence, rape, sadomasochism and torture. The plot follows Kakihara and his yakuza clan as they search for their traitorous boss, Anjo. However, a psychopath named Ichi introduces his own sense of justice through the mutilated corpses of Kakihara’s men. This ultimately leads to an unforgettable showdown between the two characters.

There is no doubt that Ichi the Killer is one of the most violent films in cinema history. Yet its exaggerated nature, though initially shocking, generates a dark, twisted humour. Though it is hard to ignore the overall brutality of Miike’s creation, the acting is outstanding. Tadanobu Asano’s performance as the sadomasochistic Kakihara is simply jaw-dropping. His hauntingly calm demeanour, insane sense of pleasure, horrifying grin and colourful dress sense has a ‘Joker-esque’ feel to him. Even after cutting his own tongue out, the sense of enjoyment and glee in his eyes is frightening.

Ichi the Killer is a film that you’ll either love or hate. The controversial and shocking themes will certainly deter many, but its over-the-top nature makes it hilarious and fantastic. Takashi Miike has delivered a film that, on the surface succeeds to create controversy, but is an electrifying, gruesome and well-acted piece of modern Japanese cinema.          


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