Snow White Murder Case (Shiro Yuki Hime Satsujin Jiken) – 白ゆき姫殺人事件 [Movie Review]

The Snow White Murder Case may appear to be a simple case of whodunit, spiced with the use of social media to condemn a suspected murderer and the ability (or lack thereof) of a TV broadcast news company to verify its source. In this case, we are talking about a mysterious, yet “plain looking” young woman who is the suspect in murdering her beautiful and favorite co-worker, thus the use of Snow White to reflect the victim’s appearance.

 

So, let’s ‘hear’ the case: Miki Shirono (Mao Inoue) is no match to Noriko Miki (Nanao) from the start of their job at a famous cosmetics company. Noriki is beautiful and confident, smiles to all and always befriends everyone. Shirono is plain, withdrawn and appears to have an inferiority complex, yet she may even seem “evil” at times. But as they say, looks are not everything, so I’m getting ahead of myself.

As the “rivalry” between the two intensifies, we get to see other young women serving as pawns in the on-going battle. But who runs the show? Is Shirono the evil, silent killer or is Miki a pretentious bitch who deserves to die?

A temp News staff, Yuji Akahoshi (Gou Ayano) is bored and dreams of becoming a famous media personality (TV director for that matter). Just right after the murder, he receives a phone call from a high school friend who said she knows something about the case. Using her “testimony,” Yuji started a whirlwind in social media by putting the blame on a certain Miss “S” upon the prodding of his friend. Numerous “witnesses” follow as they all condemn the unsuspecting Miss “S”…

Yoshiro Nakamura, the movie’s director, must be credited for sustaining the interest of audiences in a murder-drama-mystery that runs for 126 minutes, but this is also a performance-based film that rests mostly on the ability of the actors.

Mao Inoue, who is considered one of the youngest Best Actress winners in the Japan Academy Prize (for Rebirth) turned in the most amazing performance as the “plain” murder suspect Shirono. Mao, who is famous for Hana Yori Dango, has sustained movie and drama performances through the years. She has grown into a compelling performer. The glamorous actress who is the cover of various fashion and film magazines is nothing but plain, but her transformation in this movie is absolute. 



Perhaps the most dramatic scene in the movie is when Shirono finally made it home, as tragedy struck on a deeper level. As she stays in her room, she noticed a flicker of light. It was her one true friend who says:

Even if everyone is against you, I’ll be on your side….

Go Ayano should also be credited for a notable performance as the greedy, spotlight-hungry TV director. He can get under your skin and be quite irritating. As with Inoue, Ayano has also demonstrated his ability to tackle complex and dark roles, never one to hesitate to be controversial in his role choices.

Misako Renbutsu – who plays Ayano’s high school friend and Shirono’s co-worker – has a major part in the disappearance and subsequent murder of Miki. Her character is fearless and without conscience. This actress needs to get more roles; she’s superb!

Kudos also to Nanao for playing the anti-heroine. She can project a bitchy-over confident career woman with such ease.

The Snow White Murder Case has been in the headlines for its thrilling yet inevitable climax and is one of Psycho-Drama’s most anticipated movies for 2014. It is also WildGrounds #1 most anticipated Asian movies for the year and received a fabulous review from fellow blogger-movie reviewer Jason @Genkinahito.

I am almost certain it will receive nominations come 2015 for the Japan Academy Prize.

 

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