The Beast Shall Die

The Beast Shall Die ★★★★

Odd that this is by the same director as 'You Can Succeed, Too', although that film's candy-coloured, got-to-get-ahead comedy did have an undercurrent of real disaffection, most visibly in the dance of the drunken salarymen. Here the anger at inequality, corruption and nepotism is undiluted and, denied any expression through political action, curdles into disgust, fuelling murderous pop-Nietzschean power games - set pieces that Sugawa handles with the same verve that he would later bring to musical numbers.

Nakadai is such a disconcerting presence. Whenever the dialogue becomes too baldly explanatory and the movie starts to feel schematic, all that's needed is one cut to a wide angle close-up of his face and everything's unbalanced.

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