“Whisky e donne distruggono un killer” This sentence pronounced in the first bars movie will turn out to be prophetic, symbolizing the story that sees as protagonists Goro Hanada (Joe Shishido), Killer Numero 3 of Japan.This bizarre little gem begins stylishly, if conventionally, with killer tha once arrived in Tokyo with his wife Mami, Goro was hired as a killer to get his client safely to their destination.
From when you are reminded of Goro's fetish with sniffing rice, the film would then become a showcase of kinky sex and surreal violence. After meeting a beautiful and intriguing woman named Misako, she convinces him to perform a service at the limits of the impossible but within reach of such a high level killer. However, the bad luck is around the corner and it is raging against Hanada. During the mission in fact a butterfly poses in front of its sight covering the view during the shot. The bullet kills another person causing irreversible damage in the life of Hanada and beyond. The organization doesn't forgive suck mistakes and the one who was considered Number 3 killer of Japan is expelled from the rank, becomimg in this way the new goal to cut off.
Branded to Kill the thirty-ninth feature film directed by Seijun Suzuki, is a noir that marks the turning point in the artistic career of the Japanese director, approccing in a more free ad extreme ways the telling of some situations that defied Nikkatsu, the film's production company. Fascinating the protagonist regression, expertly portrayed by Joe Shishido that from being a proud and meticulous professional killer suddenly becomes a 'weak human being', after having committed the fatal error. The personality and the character of No.3 come out right after that tragedy, moved by love and competition once discovered the No.1 killer's face, called to make out Hanada. The Suzuki's courage to undertake a more experimental type of Cinema in addition to Nikkatsu's dismissal, earned him the gratitude of directors who took inspiration, two above all Tarantino and Jarmush.
With intriguing editing, compositions and creative camera angles, Suzuki is able to merge commercial mainstream filmmaking with avant garde style. Making a gangster film artistic and despite the film being a violent film, especially for 1967 audiences, he manages to pull off one hell of a perverse, surreal, violent but yet fantastic film that is unlike other gangster films, especially films coming from Nikkatsu.
Branded To Kill
director SEIJUN SUZUKI
director of photography SEIJUN SUZUKI
cast JOE SHISHIDO, KOJI NANBARA, ISAO TAMAGAWA, ANNU MARI and HIROSHI MINAMI
words SILVIA GAIA MARCELLI
More to read