Inju, la BÍte dans l'Ombre (Inju: The Beast in the Shadow) Reviews
Half Japanese language, half french. Quite an unusual mix. The scenes of Japan were lovely.
From the past French films I?ve seen like last years Le DeuxiŤme Souffle, it has become apparent that the French do have trouble capturing the Crime genre or at least finishing it in a satisfying way. With Inju The Beast in the Shadow, it has a terrific-suspenseful plot line. It is about a French writer that travels to Japan to learn about his rival author Shenai Oe, a man who has never shown his face, except for sketch of himself on the back of each novel he publishes. This man is known to have a perverse mind and could be hostile. Oe starts to threaten the French writer and strange events occur from there. However, somewhere along the way Inju just loses its momentum, despite it being quite entertaining.
Barbet Schroeder who made the well-respected Terror?s Advocate which was shown at TIFF 07 last year, can definitely direct a film professionally and with a lot of thrills. And yes, Inju is quite entertaining. The beginning is deceiving, but from there, in terms of plot, it falls apart. You are acquainted with a Geisha haunted by her past and a TV host who guides the writer through the windy roads of Japan, and there is a Yakuza-related businessman who is way over the top and tasteless for this type of genre.
Despite this, the way Schroeder conveys each character and their motives is perplexing is underwhelming, cornering Inju into a little hole, giving it no choice but to be devoured by the beast in front of it: predictability.
It is well-shot, especially the scenes with the Geisha dancers and unusual dreams the French writer has that really don?t contribute a lot to the plot, but are still quite thrilling. In a nutshell, Inju is like a building with a beautiful interior, and a disorganized exterior.
Or in the film?s context, it?s a book with a great cover, but with descriptions that would make a reader raise an eyebrow or two. Inju is a noble attempt at a raunchy, sexual, mysterious thriller about deceit and murder (there: I?ve probably already spoiled the plot in that one line) but it delivers on entertainment value. Whether Schroeder wanted to make a film that is profound in plot development or just for the pleasure value of seeing a B- mystery flick is definitely a question in the shadow.
Dans ce thriller, la 1ere heure est vraiment passionnante. On est a la fois emu et apeure devant l'immensite et l'extreme raffinement de cette culture japonaise ancestrale.
Les personnages sont bien en place (sublime Lika Minamoto, a quand la suite?), l'image est tres belle, et on peut dire que cette histoire met tres vite le spectateur mal a l'aise comme il faut.
Malheureusement, une fois ce cadre defini, la 2eme partie du film se concentre sur la resolution de l'intrigue, ultra previsible, et du coup tout ca devient bien mois interessant.
Quoi qu'il en soit, pour ceux qui voudraient decouvrir le travail de Barbet Schroeder, je ne saurais trop vous recommander la vision de l'Avocat de la Terreur, fantastique document sur Maitre Verges, et de la Vierge des Tueurs, film poignant et magnifique a Medellin.