TIFF 2016 – Rage (A Japanese Film)

This past weekend I had the opportunity to watch a Japanese movie called Rage by director, Sang-il Lee, at the Toronto International Film Festival. I didn’t know what to expect when I went to watch this movie with, and courtesy of a good friend, but I was moved. The director was present for the premier with two of the lead actors, Ken Watanabe and Aoi Miyazaki, and I must say this trio was a gracious and humurous bunch.

This movie opens with 3 seemingly different story lines taking place in three different places in Japan: Tokyo, Okinawa and Chiba. And no, there will be no spoilers, and this review will abound in brevity and vagueness, but this movie digs deep and uncovers the ugliness of our baser natures. It both terrorizes and horrifies you, all this without being a horror film.

Sang-il Lee has adapted this book by Shuichi Yoshida, and he has gone for the jugular with this one. He makes us bleed at our seams, exposing the evil that resides just below the surface and can buoy to the top at any time. Spanning concepts of trust, revenge, anger, fear, hatred, loneliness, sadness and fetal joy, Rage will leave you questioning what you are capable of when darkness sets into your veins. The characters hold nothing back. They sink their teeth into your emotions and paint you into a corner where you are forced to admit that there is evil lurking inside all of us. A formidable performance by the entire cast, and a dark masterpiece by Sang-il Lee.

I would hail this as a film to see at some point, because I think it allows us to see a more primal section of ourselves without the guilt of viewership.

 

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