Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Weekend Movie-viewing: Kurosagi (another wounded Japanese guy)

Saw a Japanese drama called Kurosagi...which means Black Swindler. Basically -- the premise is-- that there are white swindlers. Swindlers who take money from innocent dupes. Then there are red swindlers who swindle people's hearts. And there are black swindlers who swindler red and white swindlers. The hero is a kid whose father was swindled and the father killed himself and others in the family because of it. This kid is on a mission...and I will add he has the same silent wounded intellectual hero thing going for him as all the other Japanese avenger types I've been seeing. Crime fighters as math/intellectual whizzes. Every episode is a challenge and a swindler who gets destroyed...although he has yet to conquer the swindler who destroyed his family, a guy he inexplicably works with and who is dying (I think) and who keeps doing inexplicable thing.  Meanwhile he meets a noble-hearted girl who is aiming to become a prosecutor. He's her landlord. They have this sexual tension and of course he's wounded so...yeah, she has to understand him without him telling her. I really, really, really hate that trope but it seems to happen in all these Japanese movies: woman as supporter/challenger/ and understander Anyway, she doesn't understand in the beginning but soon she does and both of them begin to move intellectually closer. He sees that swindlers probably aren't all bad and she sees that black swindlers probably isn't all bad...because the law really has not helped any of the swindled. 

One of the things I've noticed is the subtlety of the Japanese notion of humility. It's not as if the person is truly humble within but the person must be humble towards others. So even if one is right about something, one keeps silent. This leads to a lot of -- for lack of a better phrase-- "hidden pride" in these characters.

And something else is hidden. They don't explain themselves. Someone else explains their foibles, talents, emotional woundedness, family neuroses. Never the characters...and the person is not really present. Either the person "overhears" the secret of the beloved hero, or the hero hears of the secret love of the beloved. There is no direct explanation of the self. And sometimes there is this strange underlying decision to be cold because life is so hard. The female character therefore has to spend all her time coaxing the guy back to life and out of his self-protective coldness. (Note: I have yet to see a cold female character be coaxed out of her coldness. By the time she's cold, there's no turning back..and she's usually so cold and cruel she has become a monster. (as in the film Audition) And there are few films where guys try to heal a cold woman.

Weirdly, it kinda reminds me of something I connect with. I tend to be very terrible when it comes to challenging someone who has hurt my feelings. Weird, yes. Sometimes I can be  brave and honest but more often than not I want to say something but I don't. Yet there is this wish to be made known and to be understood...just like these noble silent characters. Back in the day I would think of lambs sheared silently who "opened not their mouth" and I was silent not because I chose to be silent but because I was repressed. And I always hoped that when heaven comes and judgment day is here when all secrets in all hearts are opened to all hearts...then those who had wounded me by mistaking me would see where and how and why they were wrong. I still kinda hope for that. But I also kinda hope to be able to stand up for myself as well.

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