There’s nothing more thrilling then watching a person favourite and cinematic hero, try something a little different…
In his cinematic home away from home, Hirokazu Kore-eda launches into The Third Murder, a gripping court room affair that veers away from his more traditional exploration of family drama but still dives deep into the very nature of humanity itself with some truly masterful strokes of genius.
Lead attorney Shigemori (Masaharu Fukuyama) takes on the defence of a murder-robbery case suspect Mitsumi (Koji Yakusho) who served jail time for another murder 30 years ago, his chances of winning seem more than a little slim. His client readily admits his guilt, despite looking at the death penalty if convicted. However, the more he digs into the case, this once confidant trial attorney begins to doubt if his client is a murderer after all.
Making a powerful comment on the justice system while adding a fascinating wrinkle to the material that he has already mined so well, with The Third Murder; Kore-eda comes through with a crime drama that follows the beats of the procedural so well without betraying his core sensibilities.
Reminiscent of Kurosawa’s classic High and Low and it plays as such an interpersonal drama as the search to determine right and wrong strives on. It’s quiet psychological warfare that seeps up on you while it unfolds.
Sure it’s a change of pace, but with The Third Murder it’s proof that Kore-eda will never stop evolving as a top flight storyteller.