COLD FISH (2011) Review

Directed by: Shion Sono
Starring: Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Denden, Megumi Kagurazaka

COLD FISH tells the story of two fish store owners who, apart from their occupations couldn't be any more different. Shamoto (Fukikoshi) is a timid man with a modest shop, recently re-married with a daughter from his first wife. Murata (Denden) on the other hand is a successful, loud and outgoing man who owns a store five times that of Shamoto's.
Shamoto is called into Murata's store after his daughter is caught shoplifting, but instead of contacting the authorities Murata decides to let her off and even offers her a job at the store. Murata 'befriends' Shamoto and even offers him a position as a business partner. On the surface Murata seems to be a genuinely nice and friendly guy but we soon discover that underneath he is a monster. Shamoto witnesses him murder another business partner after a misunderstanding and Murata forces him to help with the disposal of the body.
Murata brags about killing over 50 people (or 'making them invisible' as he says) and never being caught. Shamoto finds himself being pulled down into the other man's world of violence and murder and unable to escape due to threats against his wife and daughter. Will Shamoto find a way out? Or will Murata be successful in making him his 'apprentice'?

Once the main character witnesses the first murder things kick into gear and move along at a swift pace. During the rest of the film you will witness plenty of scenes of murder, abuse, rape, dismemberment, blood and guts but somehow all of this violence doesn't seem gratuitous at all, it feels needed. And by the end you'll realize that the movie isn't just about telling the story on which it is apparently based, but is also a look at more universal issues such as responsibility, abuse, dependency and family dysfunction. It touches on life, death, madness, anger and regret with a lot of pitch black humor laced throughout.

At just under two and a half hours COLD FISH is much too long and drawn out and could have been much more effective had that time been sliced almost in half. Fortunately the actors all do their jobs well so watching this isn't as tedious as you might imagine. Denden is especially good as the insane and over the top Murata.
This movie is not for everybody but if you like a lot of gore, realism, a well written story and a bit of social commentary then you'll definitely want to see COLD FISH.

No comments:

Post a Comment