Just before Christmas I felt the need for a bit of geeky mathematics-related action, so I dug out Liar Game and watched a few episodes. It quickly captured my interest with its cleverly devised plots and endless double crossing. I started to regret watching it at half past eleven in the evening, because before I knew it, it was one o’clock and I’d seen the first three episodes, and I was eager to see more.
On the down side, a lot of the show's fast-pace is a bit of an illusion. For example, twenty minutes of episode four involves a long explanation of how one person cheated the game. Each revelation was accompanied by crash zooms on each of the competitors. This streches out a scene that could've been done in five minutes.
Apart from the constant stylistic interruptions, the storyline is intriguing. A mysterious organisation sets up a game of chance for randomly selected competitors that will either make them rich or put them into massive debts. As the stakes get higher, the opponents become more and more cunning. Each game involves clever manipulation of people and probabilities to ensure success in what seems like a game of pure luck.
It’s a huge shame, then, that the last episode should be a feature-length recap of the whole series before the final scenes are played. The first time I watched it, I was puzzled at why they started with such a long, detailed flashback until I realised it wasn’t a flashback – they were telling the whole story again. Nevertheless I do recommend this to people, if they like mathematics and if they can sit through the director's endless reliance on the same shots and zooms.
Then, today I discover that a new Liar Game film is being made: Liar Game Reborn, so I thought I should write about it so I look up-to-date and relevant. The last time I wrote about Liar Game, I expressed a wish that the film would be the end of the series. However, now there's a new chapter in the story, I'm quite excited to see what happens next.
Judging by the trailer, it looks like more of the same, despite the lack of Toda Erika. There are a lot of familiar faces in the trailer and the music and directing style seem identical to the original TV series. Plus, Lair Game Reborn also features Ashida Mana, who seems to be in more things than AKB48 these days!
Liar Game Reborn is released on 3rd March 2012