Yôgisha X No Kenshin – Suspect X (Hiroshi Nishitani, 2008) Japan:

Reviewed by Hrair Panossian. Viewed at the Santa Barbara Film Festival 2009.

Can mathematics and physics create or solve crimes? In the movie Suspect X, the answer is yes. The movie that is made in Japan was the 2nd movie I watched at the film festival. And I have to admit that I was pretty sceptic after watching the terrible movie 20th Century Boys that is also made in Japan, but this movie was pretty good, I have to admit.

We start of by seeing a really rude ex-husband entering the door of a woman and her daughter. One thing leads to another and they start arguing, which eventually makes the mother attack the man in self-defence and makes the ex-husband die. The main character Ishigami, the genious mathematcian and also their neighbour, hears all of this, and tries to create an alibi for the mother, which we see later in the movie that he is very fond of. He creates every kind of alibi that’s possible in order to make her seem innocent, but there is one big problem that is in the way, his old friend the physicist Manabu that helps the police to solve this murder investigation.

I can’t help but draw similarities to the movie “A beautiful mind”, and I really can’t explain why. That is the first thing that I compared it with when I watched the movie, but it is probably the comparison of R. Crowe and Shin’ichi Tsutsumi (Ishigami). They are both mathematic geniouses and act and think in the same way. I also thought about “Pulp Fiction” when it came towards the end. When you see why it all happened, how it really happened, and you instantly connect it with the rest of the movie.

Although I’m not really the one that watches many Japanese movies, this one is the movie that stands out. My cousin made me watch a bunch of movies back home, many animated animé flicks and series, but this one was a lot better. This is the top 3 international contributions of the festival.

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