The Snow-White Murder Case Review: Outstanding – A Superbly Entertaining and Dramatic Deception of The Media’s Influence Today
Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
A young woman working at a cosmetic company is interrogated with regards to the murder of her beautiful co-worker.
When I undertook Film studies, I learned how the internet has granted us unlimited access to knowledge, but besides this, the internet has not given us the ability to acquire the truth, and The Snow White Murder Case (based upon the text by Kanae Minato, which I am yet to read) is a marvelous example of this unfortunate fact.
This highly watchable and influential drama, which efficaciously combines a riveting, intelligent storyline with on-screen social media, provides a brutally honest depiction of bullying, peer pressure, and online harassment, encapsulating the feel of not only the media, but the contemporary social climate, complimenting, yet at the same time criticizing the depths of our technological age in a film that is as much a character drama, as it is a documentary.
The feature is a real eye-opener Revealing how easily the truth can be manipulated by not only those who produce the media, but those who respond to it, and how the opinion of a single individual can suddenly become the driving influence behind everyone’s ideas, truly emphasizing the potency of what we dub viral media.
To have Twitter updates and other social media news cycles appear on screen as the story emerges may seem like an ambitious undertaking that will inevitably distract, or counteract the original intentions of the feature, everything is brilliantly intertwined. The way the screen is occasionally divided, thanks to the incredible camera work and editing, is sublime.
This particular story of jealousy, greed, friendship, family and hardship, begins with the violent murder of Noriko (Nanao), a beautiful employee at a cosmetics company. We are originally unsure of who the murderer is, but the brutality of the crime is a clear indication of the unquantifiable hate needed to enact such overkill.
Risako (Misako Renbutsu), a colleague of the victim, contacts ex-boyfriend Yuji (Gou Ayano), after being interviewed by police. A food critic, Yuji is desperate to rise above his station, and despite Risako asking him for discretion in this matter, he cannot help broadcasting details about the case across the internet. This, coupled with his unhealthy obsession, immediately presents him as a character we can neither respect, nor feel sympathy towards.
Risako mentions a possible suspect, Shirono (Mao Inoue), who inexplicably vanished the same night as the murder, and though it is nothing more than wild speculation, a witch hunt, instigated by Yuji, begins to consume social media as the public becomes enthralled with finding the suspect. In a world where people are meant to be innocent before being proved guilty, Shirono is never granted this opportunity, regardless of whether or not she is responsible.
The cast’s portrayal of the characters is exceptional (and, as always, Ms. Renbutsu is so unbelievably adorable), though it is Ms. Inoue who is especially magnificent in her role, efficaciously presenting not only her character but the depictions that colleagues and old acquaintances have of her.
Over the course of the feature, the film exposes how every individual contains the beauty of Snow White, and yet can equally represent the hostility and antagonism of the wicked witch, and despite cultural differences often having a major role to play in society, when it comes down to it, everyone has an agenda, and some people, regardless of where they’re from, will do anything to end up on top – even murder.
The musical score that accompanies the scenes, especially the string instruments, brings further emotional quality to the feature, alongside the strong use of imagery. When Yuji traverses around the scene of the crime, the tense atmosphere is so cold and dark, it is utterly foreboding, while in another instance when a woman admits another young lady was her partner, the image of her intertwined legs resembles those belonging to paramours after a night of passion. Moreover, the occasional use of animation to depict what people are thinking, alongside revealing their vivid imagination, adds an extra level of character depth that benefits the story.
A powerful, dramatic, and heartfelt film, The Snow-White Murder Case is undoubtedly one of the best 2014 dramas I have had the privilege of viewing. Containing a series of powerful messages, with a plot that continuously keeps you guessing, this feature is one of those rare gems that people simply have to watch, for it not only entertains the audience, but it also critiques our society as a whole.