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DVD Talk review of 'Cure'

Old 01-03-04, 10:52 AM
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DVD Talk review of 'Cure'

I read Mike Long's DVD review of Cure at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=8948 and...

What Mr. Long's review of Cure takes as subjective weaknesses, I look at as strengths. Everything in the film is quite conscious and intentional. Easy answers are neither asked for nor given. The characters themselves do not understand what is happening to them and why. That is the very heart of the story and the reason why I found Kurosawa's film to be one of the most frightening in recent memory. Like Kubrick's The Shining the premise of the film itself is what is so terrifying, and there is no escaping it, no need to resort to very many standard horror 'tricks' you see so often.

I look forward to owning this DVD and hope more of K. Kurosawa's work gets distributed in America.
Old 01-06-04, 11:18 PM
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Jepthah

I too am a fan of Kiyoshi Kurosawa. His films are sold as horror/suspense but his horrors are always human. This film has three stereotypes:
1.) The dedicated worker/Detective Takabe
2.) The lonely/housewife Fumie
3.) The disafffected youth/Mamiya
These predicaments are universal in modern societies. The Mamiya character represents the young japanese who asks over and over "Who are you?" and the only answer he gets is a name.
The fractured elements of modern Japanese society is played out as a serial killer proceedural. When it is actually about Japan's haunted past and uncertain future. Kurosawa's films have depth and meaning beyond the obvious artifice of the story. I for one admire his work and enjoyed this film quite a bit. I have the new region 1 edition from HVE and it is light years better than the HK versions floating around.

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Old 01-06-04, 11:26 PM
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This film is easily one of the best horror films ever made. Plus, it has the best use of sound since Coppola's "The Conversation". It is disappointing that the reviewer did bother to fully study the film, and realize the film's main parable and subtleties.
Old 01-07-04, 08:51 AM
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I agree with Mike Long's review. I thought the movie was pretentious and heavy handed. I do not think that poor pacing and stereotypical character development should be confused with art. Yes, the movie does have its merits, but I do not think it is a masterpeice- not by a long shot. I, like the reviewer, appreciate ambiguity in movies with rich character and plot devlopment, yet I gave this movie no more than two seconds worth of thought after it ended. If a movie does not challenge me to think after it ends, then it was not worth the time I invested in the story.
Old 01-07-04, 01:03 PM
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Sigh.

The film definitely challenges you to think - whether you do or not, however, is up to you.

The film's tagline is "The Power of Suggestion". Did you think why this is? And what is this "suggestion"? And why is it called "Cure"?

And considering its 97% on Rottentomatoes.com, I think you are very much in the minority. Heck, even the notoriously picky J. Hoberman said cure is "one of the moodiest, most brilliantly sustained occult chillers." And such praise from him is rare indeed.
Old 01-09-04, 01:48 AM
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I just bought and watched it again. It's a great film. As Grimfarrow says, brilliant soundtrack...akin to what Todd Haynes does in Safe but possibly even more unnerving. The layers of meaning and implication in the film are what I call true horror. If someone understands the story with a degree of fullness I can't see how they would fail to be disturbed. Plus the methodical cinematography is great. I loved the interview with Kurosawa as well...he is clearly a highly conscious filmmaker.
Old 01-14-04, 09:49 AM
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Glad to see this once obscure film getting some deserved attention - anybody willing to offer an interpretation of the last few scenes? (break out those spoiler tags!) I saw Cure once and have been meaning to go back and watch it again very closely. I'm rarely mystified at the end of movies but it left me a little puzzled.

Any other Kurosawa recommendations? Pulse?

Last edited by ehonauer; 01-14-04 at 09:52 AM.
Old 01-14-04, 10:41 PM
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Originally posted by ehonauer
Glad to see this once obscure film getting some deserved attention - anybody willing to offer an interpretation of the last few scenes? (break out those spoiler tags!)
Here goes nothing.

Spoiler:
In his masterfully subtle way, I think Kurosawa clearly implies that something supernatural is at work in Mamiya, more than just the unversity student's insanity or study of Mesmerism. Notice the presence of the primal elements of fire and water in his hypnotism, alchemical symbols themselves. The scene of him extinguishing the lighter with the ceiling leak, and the trembling of the whole prison hospital during his escape, seem to back this up. Plus the 'X' crucified monkey in his place, definitely an allusion to occultism.

Mamiya's attraction to Takabe is Takabe's turbulent inner life. The other victims were largely blank themselves, and Mamiya's curse was to accentuate their evil impulse to correct the 'disturbances' in their shallow lives...wives, sexual objects, co-workers. With Takabe he saw someone with more psychic force and so decided to pass his gift/curse along. He does this by physical contact (notice his touch of Takabe in the first interrogation, right on the forehead), suggestion, and finally his 'X' as Takabe shoots him to death.

In the last few shots we see Takabe's wife, his 'burden,' dead in a ritual-murder style, implied murdered by one of the nurses in the hospital. Then his meal and coffee. He is happy. The waitress who served him goes to get a large knife, ready to apparently kill a co-worker (my supposition). Takabe has been passed Mamiya's 'curse,' and his 'cure.' Now he will be able to get others to suffer for him.


A film with much intentional ambiguity. This is just my interpretation. I think there must be many ways to approach it.
Old 01-15-04, 12:53 PM
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Originally posted by Jepthah
A film with much intentional ambiguity. This is just my interpretation. I think there must be many ways to approach it.
Ah, interesting.
Spoiler:
I had the feeling that the killings were going to continue at the end, and that the detective was involved somehow, but I thought I was missing some of the significance of the final scenes. I missed the whole waitress with a large knife angle. That makes sense.


Thanks...
Old 01-15-04, 09:47 PM
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Here's my take...

http://home.so-net.com.hk/~grimfarrow/archive/Cure.html
Old 01-16-04, 12:52 AM
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----anybody willing to offer an interpretation of the last few scenes? ----

Saw it quite long ago.
If I remember it right, the ending is:
after the detective solved the puzzle, he was still willing to be "hypnotized" in order to kill his wife (which he could not do it when he (a good guy) was "awake"). Think of Grimfarrow review, indeed "this film is easily one of the best horror films ever made".
Old 01-18-04, 03:20 AM
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BTW, one of the menu designers/producers is David Lynch...yes, I believe it's that David Lynch. Maybe he's a fan of the film?

The menus are cool, creepy, and understated, very much of a piece with the film, but they do feel like they have Lynch's influence, which is a good thing.

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