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The Face of Another

MovieMeditation presents...
total movie count ........... current day count
192 .......................... 203


June 4th

—— 1966 ——
—— drama ——

Despite of an interesting premise, this eccentric existential look into a not too distant future,
fails to further develop on the promising sketches of ideas, which was wisely laid out by script

The script shows several signs of true genius, but unfortunately they never get to be unraveled or even provoke me enough to care or be amazed. Already by the opening I knew something wasn’t right, in the way it kept on flushing its themes out without looking at them probably; turning or twisting them. It was almost like the main character was this grand philosopher who just couldn’t shut up, like the writer had several thoughts about this great premise and just shoved them in the mouth of his main character so he could present these questions to the audience, in a way that felt far from natural.

It is a sincere shame that the director didn’t choose to go further with it, because there are so many directions this could have went in. Making it all worse, the director chooses to go in a direction, which is completely off from the central story, strangely finding his time to discuss things fairly irrelevant to the story we actually want to hear. There are plenty of amazing thing that could happen in this movie. But nothing amazing really happens at all. We see plenty of characters talking about what could be amazing; worrying about it, wondering about it, but never follows through with it. There are times where I was just about to feel relieved, simply because the story seemed to go in the right direction, while slowly building up to unleashing the bandage from the story. But that time never came. What it mainly gets praise for is the promising premise, which holds many interesting things, while I will also say that the visuals and soundscape are both great as well.

It is unfortunate, that this film wants to focus on its many ideas rather than the execution of them. It is a shame, that the film is generally well-directed with striking imagery certain to be remembered, and beautiful black and white cinematography to go with it as well. I was really fascinated with this film, but in the long run I began to give up on the fact that I would ever see this movie leap off screen – expose itself from behind the facades, while finally moving on from what began to feel like a circle of empty talk by the end of it – a movie that just never moved on. It was like the film tried to solve a math problem within itself, filling out the entire blackboard with intermediate calculations, but in the end, couldn’t come up with the correct conclusion to the equation. When it was over I kind of felt like an examiner myself, “you know, this is all very fascinating, and I respect the effort put into it, but what was the point of all this? How can I give this a good grade, if you didn’t solve what you set out to do? Maybe if you had said something during all this, instead of silently standing there writing out all this stuff without ever putting it to use or presenting it properly. I simply can’t give you too many points for just writing it out, without discussing it, presenting it or solving it. I’m sorry, but I will have to grade you with a B-, young Teshigahara…”