Saturday, 18 January 2014

Just watched: Kagi no Kakatta Heya

In a season with very little TV that I’m looking forward to, I can console myself with my plan of using the time to catch up on all those weird little art house films that I’ve been meaning to see for ages, but never had the chance. But before then, I’ll quickly talk about this special episode of an old favourite.

Not so long ago, it seemed like every other series was a murder mystery. However, even with so much competition, this drama stood out. It specialised in apparently impossible “Locked Room” murders and their cunning solutions.

The final episode of the series ended with the clear implication that the hero, ace-locksmith Enomoto, was actually a criminal too. And this special episode ends with exactly the same implication. In other words, we end more or less where we started.

But the main appeal of the show is not Enomoto’s history. It is the crime itself and the interaction of the three main characters. Both of these things are present and correct. Sato Koichi still steals every scene as the self-absorbed lawyer, and Toda Erika is fine as the sensible one. The directing is fine, with a nice use of silent pauses to underline certain reactions. However, he gets minus several points for using the old cliched of loudly-echoing footsteps to enhance the tension. Even in one scene where the room is clearly heavily carpeted.

It was an enjoyable addition to the story but, as I mentioned before, it didn’t take us anywhere we hadn’t been before.

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