Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Doppelganger” lesser but interesting work

A typical Kiyoshi Kurosawa premise that allows him to explore creepy, unexplainable moods and atmospheres. Koji Yakusho once again stars as the lead in a Kiyoshi horror, playing the Yin and Yang of the narrative, as he spirals down the madness of having his exact negative out there impersonating him. This new reality breaks him and Yakusho’s performance utilizes his controlled rage that is being held back with every line delivery. He’s the main reason to see the film – as the two sides of the character are subtly different making for an entrancing look into the doppelganger’s motives. Kiyoshi’s direction isn’t at the level of his great films, as the production design and overall tone is mismanaged. The atmosphere doesn’t bleed into the image and is mainly carried by the actors. Furthermore, certain plot elements, like the mind-reading medical chair, are so tacky and distracting from the best elements of Kiyoshi’s style.  Worth to see for Kurosawa and Yakusho completionists, but by no means an essential film.

Review: ★★★

Verdict: Medium Weird


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