The Snow White Murder Case / 白ゆき姫殺人事件 / Shiro Yuki Hime Satsujin Jiken (2014)
Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Screenplay: Tamio Hayashi, Kamae Minato
Cast: Gou Ayano, Mao Inoue, Misako Renbutsu, Nanao, Shihori Kanjiya
Note: This film will screen on July 29
The film starts right off with the murder victim’s body and the murderer’s shadow hovering over it. Then we see Yuji, a low-level TV program director who’s on his twitter writing about the bad ramen he had. He gets a call from an ex-girlfriend who was a co-worker of the victim. She tells him that the victim was Noriko, a beautiful woman who was an employee at a cosmetics company that sold a Snow White brand cream. She also tells him that she thinks another employee, a “plain-looking” Miki is the murderer. Thinking this could be his big break, Yuji interviews those who knew Noriko and also tweets about it. By all accounts it does seem like Miki is the main suspect but not everybody is telling the truth.
What follows is various accounts from different people as they describe the events before the murder. Many events are consistently mentioned by multiple people but some events are not with different contradictory accounts and theories. The most interesting parts are the times when different people describe the same event but interpret it completely differently based on their own biases. We see different perceptions of both Noriko and especially Miki. Some do think Miki could have actually killed Noriko and cite both experience or rumors from her past. Others think it’s impossible, describing her as a kind if introverted person. Punctuated between interviews are TV segments with talking heads about the murders and also scrolling twitter messages in response to the gradual revelations.
Inevitably the movie does reveal the solution to the mystery although I found it maybe a bit too definitive but then again this film was not really meant as a whodunnit but rather to show how rumors, truth and lies can be easily mixed up together willingly and unwillingly. What one considers as the truth is often a matter of perception. The film also has a rather emotional moment towards then end which works nicely. The performances, particularly the female actresses are all great. It seems rare to see a film where there are more main female characters than male ones. There really is only one male main character and he’s pretty much strung along for the ride.
This is the third film that I have really liked out of four that I’ve seen by this director and each time I was never aware that he was the director. I should start paying more attention because he is definitely very talented and knows how to make interesting movies that pay off in the end. I give this film a definite recommendation. Go watch it if you can.