Today: April 17, 2024

Confessions DVD & BR Review

A brooding psychological thriller that delves deep into the darkest recesses of revenge.

A brooding psychological thriller that delves deep
into the darkest recesses of revenge.

If films are
anything to go by then venturing into a Japanese school is akin to staying the
night at the Bates Motel. Films like Battle
(2000) portray the country as having a paralyzing fear of youth and
the aggressive ways in which it expresses itself. Confessions takes this a step
further by highlighting the irresponsible nature in which school children
approach life. These youths know the difference between right and wrong yet are
aware of the fact that as minors they can literally get away with murder, or
can they?

Moriguchi (Matsu) is a middle-school teacher on
the brink of retirement having recently lost her four-year-old daughter in a
seemingly terrible accident. As she announces her imminent departure to her
unruly students she tells them how her infant daughter was actually murdered by
two members of the class. As silence falls she continues by saying that the two
students have just consumed the HIV virus that she put in their milk. What
follows is a series of confessions from all involved in the murder and the
fall-out from revelations that she presents.

Based on the
novel by Kanae Minato Confessions is
a dark tale told with a stylish panache that drips with menace. We witness as
the murdering students crumble under the realization that they did not get away
clean, the way in which their contemporaries react to their psychotic ways and
the devastating reality and repercussions of such a violent crime. Like
convicts in a prison they have their own form of justice that is more
disturbing than anything the legal system could dish out.

Director Nakashima, normally known for his
vibrant colours in films like Kamikaze
(2004), saturates the film in underlit grays. At times the story
unfolds in dreamlike slow motion highlighting the need for these characters to
disassociate themselves with blame. For some it may feel a little style over
substance, but it succeeds in creating a hugely visceral film that deals with
young minds fracturing at the realization that they are culpable for their

Towards the end
the plot begins to unravel, however, you are firmly hooked into the concept and
whether or not the ultimate revenge will pay-off. Underscored with a grungy
sound track, including the brilliant use of a Radiohead track, the film plays
out as a visual flourish in morality story telling. In fact there are times you
could be mistaken for watching a Chris Cunningham video (particularly his Aphex
Twins out-put).

With a sense of Greek tragedy about it Confessions is
a tantalizing glimpse into a terrifying world that despite its alienating
characters manages to drag you kicking and screaming into its moral ambiguity.

To Buy Confessions On DVD Go Here Or On Blu-Ray Go Here

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email:

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