Thriller “Rage” Is Suspenseful

By Rubianny Alvarado

A suspenseful thriller “Rage” directed by Lee Sang-il keeps you on your toes the entire film. It begins with a gruesome murder scene and the words “rage” written in blood on one of the walls. This film simultaneously follows the lives of three men without any indication of their past and a murder suspect by the name of Kazuya Yamagami. These complete strangers fall into the lives of three different people, changing them all forever. The question bubbling inside ones head as they nervously munch on their popcorn while watching this film is; which of these men is Yamagami?

In Chiba Aiko (Aoi Miyazaki) had ran away from her home and became a prostitute. Three months later her father finds her in the brink of death after a couple of men had taken advantage of her willingness to “please her customers”. Needless to say she is now a social pariah as no one will approach her due to her past. That is everyone except for her fathers’ new employee Tashiro (Kenichi Matsuyama). Tashiro seems to appear out of the blue yet Aiko trusts him with her life.

Aiko moves out with Tashiro despite her father warning her not to. She is blissfully happy until her father reveals that Tashiro is not who he says he is. Aided by her father’s suspicion of Tashiro as the murder suspect Yamagami she cannot help but wonder if Tashiro could be lying to her. One is wrenched with emotion as Aiko scrambles to come to a decision; should she put her faith in Tashiro, or take matters into her own hands and find out the truth for herself.

Yuma (Satoshi Tsumabuki) is a gay man in Tokyo who has yet to come out when he meets Naoto (Go Ayano), a very shy and introverted man. The scene in which they first encounter each other is quite disturbing as it looks as if Yuma is forcing himself onto Naoto. Despite the unconventional first meeting Naoto soon moves in with Yuma to the point of having an actual serious relationship. Naoto meets Yuma’s mother and they both confide and ultimately trust each other.

Just as quickly as it began it ended as Yuma’s mother died and suspicion of Naoto being the suspected murderer arose. Yuma preceded pushed Naoto away, but as he was missing for a couple of days Yuma became increasingly worried. He had no clue of his whereabouts; the closest he came to reaching Naoto was when he received a phone call from a detective asking for Naoto. Yuma denied any interaction with Naoto.

All the way in Okinawa, Izumi (Suzu Hirose) encounters another strange man in an island which she and her friend, Tatsuya (Takara Sakumoto) frequent. The remote island can only be reached by boat therefore she is extremely confused when she finds Tanaka (Mirai Moriyama) there with a very vague explanation as to how he got there. She proceeds to visit the island by herself in order to bring him food and form of entertainment. She soon befriends the strange man, allowing us to see how trusting and naïve Izumi is.
Similarly to the afore mentioned lives everything is going well until a turn of events causes Izumi’s life to change forever. On a night out she is separated from Tanaka and Tatsuya resulting in her getting lost. She encounters two American men who proceed to rape her all the meanwhile her friend watches from the distance. Her friend later on mentions how helpless he felt as he was too intoxicated to do anything to help Izumi at the moment. Izumi begs him not to tell anyone.

A central theme that appears in this film is the feeling of hopeless and helplessness. Three of the characters were sexually abused leaving them vulnerable and feeling as if they had no control over their bodies. The family and friends of these victims also feel helpless because they can’t do anything in order to help them.

All three men become the center of suspicion in the lives of the people they have come to infiltrate, so who did it?

The quiet and reserved hard working Tanisho, his past is already sketchy as Tashino isn’t even his real name. Or was it eccentric Tanaka who appeared as if out of thin air in the remote island? Maybe it’s Naoto, whose three moles are identical to that of the ones believed Yamagami has.

Suspects are quickly discarded one by one. First Naoto’s disappearance leads Yuma to seek for him in the place he once saw him with a strange girl. Upon his arrival he is greeted by what he most had feared, Naoto had passed away. Miles away another act of betrayal takes place as Aiko calls the police on Tashiro in order to get down to the truth; is the man she loves a murderer? Forensic evidence proves his innocence and although this is a good thing Aiko is confronted with what she has just done and breaks down.

That leaves us with Tanaka. In a rare moment of truth, Tanaka reveals that he wanted Izumi to be raped by the Americans and that he wasn’t the one who shouted police. In a fit of pure rage Tatsuya grabs a pair of scissors and stabs him to death. His body is later discovered by the police and it is revealed that he was actually Yamagami all along.

The entire film leaves you wondering, who is Yamagami? He is murderer therefore he must not be that hard to identify right? Wrong, this film showcases that anyone can be hiding a secret past. From changing once name to avoid debt to being a murderer. You become vulnerable to anyone you let in your life, so choose wisely.

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