The Sting of Death

1990 [JAPANESE]

Action / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 312

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Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
November 23, 2022 at 05:11 PM

Director

Top cast

720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.03 GB
1280*766
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 54 min
P/S 8 / 3
1.9 GB
1804*1080
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 54 min
P/S 2 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by DICK STEEL 7 / 10

A Nutshell Review: The Sting of Death

Having sat through a weekend of the Japanese Film Festival so far, The Sting of Death got an unceremoniously high number of walk outs. I'm somewhat curious about how this movie got selected to fit into the theme of this year's festival of true.romance, because it really looked a little out of place, or anti-themed, with its grappling on the stark emotions of betrayal and lack of trust.

The movie opens, and for the next 15 minutes, we see a couple in conversation, but their body language is awkward. We see a lady, but we hear a man in the room too, and while both are obviously talking to each other, they do not have the other in their line of sight. As the camera reveals a little more, we see the house in a little disarray, suggesting a fight of sorts taking place earlier. As they go further in their conversation, we slowly realize that here's a woman who has confronted her husband on his infidelity, and finding the truth a bitter pill that is hard to swallow.

With escalating quarrels and fights getting more violent, it's always the case that the children will be the ones who suffer. Toshio (Ittoku Kishibe) and Miho's (Keiko Matsuzaka) kids know what is happening (yes, kids actually know), and are always found to be torn between the parents. But I guess despite their differences, they have probably decided to stick to each other for the sake of their children, while working out the demons between them. Ironing out the problems posed by infidelity is tricky, because it involves re-establishing trust which had been broken before, and there is no guarantee that it won't be broken again. And it is precisely this insecurity that Miho fails to address, despite constant assurances by her husband.

On that premise alone, The Sting of Death held promise. We tear out our hair together with Miho as she begins her descent, when all things appear fine, she'll rake up something about the past to ask Toshio, knowing very well that whatever answer she'll get, will hurt her deep down. Until Toshio refuses to play the game, and finds life getting a lot tougher, and Miho a lot more difficult to handle.

Technically, this was a good film, with its minimalist sound providing avenues for other more subtle noises to come through, like the dripping tap which drives you nuts with its constant "drip... drip... drip". But it's not an easy film to sit through, not only because of its content repetitive material and scenes which wash-rinse-repeats Miho doubting Toshio, questioning him, scenes of abuse and challenge, reconciliation, then repeat, but also because it moves so slowly, if at all. Somehow I tend to believe that my reliance on the subtitles didn't manage to bring out the intricate dialogue between the spouses, especially when they start to mince their words and lace them with sarcasm.

Offhand I can't recall a movie that dealt with the issue of infidelity within a marriage more sharply than this, and by bringing home this point, this film has earned its badge of merit. Reminder: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and all parties suffer through moments of folly.

Reviewed by patonamu 8 / 10

Jealousy kills both parties

This story of a middle aged couple starts in twilight. They sit apart and their posture is controlled. But inside, the jealousy-demon is about to break out endangering both into insanity. The cinematography is quietly hovering, the acting disturbingly real, the mood just awesome. Kohei Oguris later "Nemuru Otoko" is more spiritual and mystical leaning towards kitsch. This one is darker, exploring the manic-depression of "excessive clinging" and the bleak consequences of constant psycho-terror.

Reviewed by frankgaipa 7 / 10

Slow Motion Slapstick

The initial reference surely is to stage or even puppetry. Married protagonists Miho and Toshio kneel facing the camera. As they speak, only now and then does each risk a sideways glance at the other. No less likely than puppets, they behave like naughty children, caught and ordered to keep still, sneaking verbal jabs at each other. Yet they have a child (pardon me if there were two—I forget—recall only one speaking). If they're middle-aged children, then they're middle-aged children sadly, tragically responsible for an actual child.

Suddenly, after an excruciatingly slow 65 minutes, the two explode physically. Ineptly, ineffectively, sadly but hilariously they start thrashing at each other. Imagine Punch and Judy. Imagine a comedy duo who after a 65 minute lllooonnnggggg paaauuuussse do some brief raucous slapstick bit, then...

Elsewhere, Miho engages in verbal slapstick. "Don't call me Miho. Call me her name." In the only other physically manifest flare-up, a night scene near the film's climax, Miho jumps Toshio's former lover. If we credit her wordplay, she attacks herself. Though deadly serious, she's a clown punching itself. But then, clowns aren't really funny, are they?

Who exactly is the protagonist? Isn't it Miho? Ittoku Kishibe, playing Toshio, has an extensive filmography but a limited range. Did Oguri cast Kishibe for his limitations? What would the film have been like with a more expressive actor in the part? How does Toshio compare with Yakusho's patient husbands in Cure or Séance? In the opening scenes, Toshio's patience suggests condescension. A worst he projects a slight superiority, a perpetual smugness, a smirk not of one interestingly guilty but of one blamably resigned.

Prior to the titular death, a squad of white clad joggers courses through the film, suggesting sanity, or at least a different sort of madness, beyond yet adjacent to the world of Miho and Toshio.

This bit won't leave me: In response to Toshio's query whether bodies float, a nurse says "They float, then sink again." They. They. They. Miho isn't unique. With a long pole, still bemused, maybe curious but still damnably calm, Toshio prods the pool's depths.

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