Plot: During the Edo era, violent revenge was not only an acceptable practice, but an official one in which vendettas were authorized by the government. Freesia revives this concept of legal vendetta and brings it to a cold, contemporary Japan. Under the Vengeance Act, criminals receive official notice of their execution and face off in a designated area at a designated time with registered gun-wielding hitmen. Cool, silent, and impervious to pain, Kanou Hiroshi (Tamayama Tetsuji) just joined the Katsumi Vengeance Agency, and immediately establishes himself as an ace hitman with his sharp shooting and emotionless personality. Almost as cold is Higuchi (Tsugumi), who organizes the agency's paperwork. She has some personal vendettas of her own to settle, amongst them against Higuchi's acquaintance Toshio (Nishijima Hidetoshi). These three lonely people are haunted by a common memory, a military experiment years ago that forever changed their lives...
Based on the Matsumoto Jiro manga, Freesia is the latest film from director Kumakiri Kazuyoshi, who came to mainstream attention last year with Seishun Kinzoku Bat. Cool and riveting, the film represents a new stylistic venture for Kumakiri, who is known for his controversial topics and atypical stories. This beautifully shot film balances its sensational premise and slick visuals with calm direction and restrained acting, situating the gunplay and bloodshed against a compelling narrative. Leads Tamayama Tetsuji (Tegami, NANA), Nishijima Hidetoshi (Casshern, Sukida), and Tsugumi (Noriko no Shokutaku) bring inner life to their cold characters, letting unspoken wounds and repressed emotions linger hauntingly beneath the surface.
«“Freesia : Icy Tears” is a unique sci-fi thriller based on the popular Japanese mange of the same name by Matsumoto Jiro. The film directed by indie helmer Kazuyoshi Kumakiri (Green Mind Metal Bats) mixes a combinaton of 70’s style noir, action packed gun battle scenes and more introspective studies on the human psyche all set within “Freesia : Icy Tears”. Typical of Kazuyoshi Kumakiri directorial style, “Freesia” is an untypical sci-fi action thriller, that morphs into a poignant study of three lost souls attempting to regain their humanity. The second half’s darker and slower style was a bit of a letdown compared to the first half’s frenetic energy, yet “Freesia” still offers one of the more engaging stories of this year. Recommended. »
«‘Icy Tears’ is a decent enough thriller, which packs action and emotion neatly into its running time. It is by no means a masterpiece, but it is a competently produced film that will easily hold your attention from start to finish.»
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