Confessions (2010)


Pros
  • A very interesting premise, in the sense that the movie reveals the identities of the killers very early on and goes from there
  • This was Japan's official entry for the 2011 Best Foreign Film Oscar
  • Intriguing narrative structure, the movie provides snippets of its story and then returns to each snippet to provide additional information for each scene
  • Very good cinematography, capitalizing mostly on the use of slow motion
  • Super dark/bleak tone
  • A devastating ending that proves the movie has plenty of surprises up its sleeve even after the early reveal
  • A highly underrated, revenge thriller

Cons
  • The movie presents a ton of names from the children in the class and it is difficult to keep track (especially with the speedy subtitles)
  • Why on Earth would the children not tell their parents about the actions of the teacher?
  • That might be the least behaved class I have ever witnessed
  • I still don't understand the anti-thief invention? It gives someone a tiny shock before they open it after they have stolen it?
  • The soundtrack in the movie is so out of focus, it's crazy certain songs made it into the movie

Score: 8/10

When Confessions revealed very early on who the killers are that murdered the teacher's daughter, I immediately had my doubts about how the movie would keep my attention since we knew the identity of the killers. But to my surprise, Confessions kept my attention majority of the time with its unique narrative structure, even if the middle chapter was a tad convoluted. The process of giving us a bit of information set both before and after the events of the murder were quite engrossing to say the least.

Considering the narrative is jumbled around quite a bit, as in the movie jumps back and forth in time revealing tiny pieces of information, there are times when the story is sort of difficult to follow. Remembering who said what and how other characters were affected by certain characters actions are at times difficult to follow. But that is not to say Confessions is bad, in fact, it's this type of storytelling that makes the movie tick while being simultaneously compelling. We may know who the murders are, but we don't quite know why they did it nor their fate now that they have been exposed. And it's these questions that get expanded on in great detail as the movie progresses to a wonderful climax. At times, the movie is a bit more improbable than it probably wants to be, but it sure makes for good storytelling. Eventually, all the pieces come together in the final act and we are now left with two very bizarre, ending scenarios.

On a side note, what kind of school are they at where kids run rampant at all times? The entire class was so out of line, they showed no signs of respect, nor did there seem to be any type of repercussions for their actions. I have no idea how society works overseas but if it is anything like in this movie, their teachers should be paid hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Seriously, everyone in the movie was either talking or texting while the teacher was talking or leaving the classroom at any given moment to go bully some other student. The amount of bullying in the movie is staggering (but I'm sure that's the point).

Confessions is a very dark movie about revenge that works quite well because of how the director structures the story. It's both shocking and quite moving and fed to the audience in an unusual way that makes it worth watching. Because of this type of structure, Confessions has plenty of tricks up its sleeve and it works at keeping the audience on the edge of their seat.