As soon as I see Takashi Miike on something I know that it’ll be a wild ride, and to expect something that will encompass the weird and bizarre, have horror and gore, yet also be thought provoking and funny. Something no other director can do, especially not in Hollywood!
Tantei Monogatari (aka: Detective Story) starts with a crazy artist painting with ground up body parts. Then we cut to some perv (with far too many video cameras!) who’s pretty much jacking off to photo’s of a girl he’s been stalking. And that’s all within the first five minutes! Then we’re introduced to our two main characters, both named Raita, opposites of each other. Raita the office worker and computer specialist is the well dressed gentleman. Raita the private dick is the scruffy, slightly mad, and persuasive of the two. Raita the private dick introduces himself to Raita the businessman as they are now neighbours. No sooner has the introduction finished than Raita the private dick is in his neighbours house with a bottle of booze and just sitting there acting weird, while the gentleman Raita sits and puts up with it… for hours. Manami appears at the private dicks door looking for help, Raita turns her away and off she goes. Next morning she’s found dead with an item of Raita’s beside her. And so it goes on that more girls are found dead with items of Raita’s beside them, so obviously Raita is being framed for the deaths.
Along the way Raita (detective) consults a former killer for advice, I’m glad they explained that bit quickly as otherwise I’d have thought I was suddenly watching a different film:
It sounds like your average Dick Van Dyke afternoon crime stuff, but it’s very well done with an excellent twist at the end. The two Raita’s are excellent, especially detective Raita, he’s hilarious. Action is pretty much non-existant, apart from the odd (on foot) chase here and there, but there is gore, and that’s the main thing. The hanging discovery isn’t much, the toilet discovery is pretty gory (see below and in the clip at the bottom of this page) and Raita’s big fight near the end has plenty of purposely funny gore, which only Miike can really do properly.
One strange thing though… the subtitled DVD (*ahem* rip) that I watched had some gore blurred out. I’m not sure if that was intentional (expect the unexpected with Miike!), or only blurred out in the US/UK/Japanese release, but it only happened about twice in the whole film, so it’s no big deal, but it did catch me off guard.
Another cracking Miike film I say. It’s not Ichi the Killer and it’s not too surreal (*cough* Visitor Q) but in that middle ground where it has a bit of everything. Hurrah for Miike!
Scene – this is where timid Raita is trying to get into the knickers of detective Raita’s assistant: