Shinnosuke Abe, Masanobu Ando, Kaya Kiyohara, Tetsushi Tanaka, Manami Konishi
Hell really is paved with good intentions. This is what Koji realizes when, following an extended absence, he returns to the village of his birth for his father’s funeral. The latter was the owner of a modest garage who exposed the local automotive company employing many of the villagers by going public when he discovered they were manufacturing a defective auto part. The result was a counterattack by the manufacturer, which led to the villagers harassing the whistleblower’s family. Completely ruined, he ultimately took his own life. One night, Koji crosses paths with Kitamura, who offers him his help if he’s ever looking for revenge. Kitamura manages an orphanage by day and commits “moral” crimes by night, looking for a little extra for his young and adolescent wards as well as retribution for criminals who escape the reach of the law. Koji decides to join Kitamura’s gang. As the car thefts and drug-dealer beatings pile up, his thirst for vengeance only deepens, gradually erasing the thin line that separates good from evil.
Characters who take justice into their own hands, especially when acting outside the law, are very popular at the moment. The suspenseful drama DAY AND NIGHT takes this type of protagonist to the next level by giving us a nicely woven narrative featuring self-proclaimed agents of justice, all within a realistic context brought to life by, among other things, magnificent cinematography focusing on the size of individuals facing overwhelming odds. This relevance is doubled by the salience of the subject of public denouncements that exists in today’s social consciousness, both at home and abroad. Co-written and co-produced by actor Takayuki Yamada, who you’ll be able to see this year in the enjoyable HARD-CORE, and masterfully directed by Michihito Fuji (OH! FATHER), DAY AND NIGHT stars Shinnosuke Abe (KINGDOM, also at Fantasia 2019) and Masanobu Ando (NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE), both very effective. This moving piece of filmmaking offers a necessary reflection on the differences between law and justice. You be the judge. – Translation: Guillaume Desbiens
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