Monday, February 22, 2010

the revenge: the scar that never fades (k kurosawa, 1997)

Scar follows A Visit from Fate chronologically, and Shô Aikawa plays the same character in both, and the electronic score seems to be from the same source - but the similarities end there. Fate's clockwork structure was so tightly wound, even the characters themselves appeared to feel suffocated by the lack of available choices, staggering listlessly from point to point along a forced-jog itinerary to an inevitable, appropriate, yet ungratifying conclusion, Scar effectively throws the schedule into a ditch, eliminating not only the cathartic effect felt by an appropriate revenge killing (Fate already scouted this territory), but also the motive force driving the rogue ex-cop along his path. This time, the dour Anjo appears fixated, but on what, we're not sure - nor are we sure he's sure. He seems lost in a wilderness of dead leads, yellowed news articles (his job seems to involve piles of refuse and tossed-out stacks of magazines - a sanitation post, certainly, but doing what?), and when he finally (or not) tracks down the man who may have made the call to murder his wife, he finds an elderly, confused invalid who can barely speak. As the remnants of his will are slowly depleted, he spends the majority of his mornings, afternoons, evenings, and wee hours with a psychotically unstable yakuza, driving around in a filthy Toyota Celica convertible, watching the swaggering, temperamental enforcer lose his underlings to a rival cell. While Fate's elaborite machinery was governed by elemental boiling points, Scar is a study in narrative and emotional entropy, observing a closed system on its way into forgetting, heatless stasis.

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