Deathnote (English version) Review
Written by: azathoth
This was a different type of film. No gore, near no violence, and a huge blending and good and evil into one big syrupy mass of grey. Here's the question- if you had the power to kill anyone, would you take out rapists and murderers that got free from trivial points of law or because they were protected by the powerful? Who else would you kill? How far would you go? This is the crux of "Deathnote".
We have the character 'Light', son of the local police chief (set in Japan, by the way). 'Ryuk' is a shinihami, or 'death god'. Ryuk is presented in obvious CGI, but I liked the way it was done. It was good enough to be eerie, but not so overdone that the flaws became annoying. I'm guessing this may be because higher resolution CGI is more difficult to mix in with the film, causing obvious flaws? Someone with more experience can let me know. Anyway, I liked the visualization of Ryuk. There is Light's father "Cap'n", Light's girlfriend, the mysterious 'L' who helps the police, 'Ray' the FBI agent, and Ray's wife.
Right from the start nasty criminals are dying all over the world from heart attacks. Police are mystified. An internet figure named 'Kira' is attributed for causing the deaths. (Note- I never could figure out if 'Kira' put up a website or if fans just started one. Odd. Also odd is you find out who 'Kira' is in 10 minutes, but I won't spoil it here.) A task force is formed and L is brought in, he/she who has solved several "unbreakable crimes" in the past. L only communicates through a butler and a laptop, so no one knows who he/she is, the real name, or what L looks like (oh, could this be a plot point?). For various reasons, the FBI get into the act secretly. Some leads are found, but 'Kira' undermines these leads. The cat and mouse game keeps ramping up.
I won't give away more here because this is a fun movie to watch. Trying to figure out if I should cheer for 'Kira' or not, will they catch 'Kira', how far will 'Kira' go? It got a bit easier later on, and the ending just wowed me. You won't see that type of twist in an American movie nowadays. Something like "Se7en" but upside down and backwards.
See this movie. There is little action but the movie never dragged. I'm not sure about the replay value of it, though. And there is a "Deathnote 2" which promises not 2, but 3 shinigamis! (Just added to my Netflix). And remember, whenever dealing with a death god, keep an apple nearby.