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Rewatch: Concrete (2004) – English Review

A girl is kidnapped, and after 40 days she dies.

I decided to watch Concrete one more time and make a new review. There have been made three movies about the Junko Furuta murder case, and Concrete is the best one of the three. The first movie is very similar to Concrete, Concrete-Encased High School Murder Case (1995). Concrete has some better actors. The second movie, Juvenile Crime (1997), is a movie you should pretend doesn’t exist. It’s an immature movie that’s sleazy and provocative in the wrong way.

The first act offers the best act of the movie when we follow the protagonist who’s trying to fit in with society after having trouble with the law. After a while, he joins the yakuza, and he has a girlfriend that he’s planning to marry. But after joining the yakuza, his plans for the future are scrapped. He starts recruiting people he knows to join him, and they start to terrorize women. Then they pick up a woman who’s not named Junko Furuta in the movie, and you should know the rest of the story by now. I will not spend much time telling you what they did to her. That’s something you can read on Wikipedia.

After the first 30 minutes, the quality drops significantly. Besides the terrible script, the biggest problem is the actress who plays Junko Furuta. She’s so bad! She gives you a reason to not watch the movie. She can’t convey emotions at all. She’s only good at pretending to be unconscious. And the best scenes with her are when she’s unconscious when the boys beat her up. But she’s a disaster in this role when she’s awake. So just keep on sleeping, so-called actress!

The script is a mess. The first 30 minutes isn’t good, but it tries at least to tell us who the protagonist is. And we understand that he’s a rotten apple. Then in the second act, he has a gang of his own, and they terrorize women. After a while, they kidnap the character that’s not named Junko Furuta in this movie. And that’s when her 40 days in hell start.

So we get to see some nasty things when they start working on the innocent girl. The actress, as I mentioned, is awful and she can’t act. But the movie got me angry in some scenes. I hated the protagonist and his goons. It’s sick to see how low a person can sink to do the things they do to another human being who hasn’t harmed a fly. These guys should never have been born.

It’s also hard to watch when they burn her leg with lighter fluid. They also hit her in the face so many times that she passes out. Her face is swollen, and the burn mark on her leg is nasty. As long as the actress pretends to be unconscious, these scenes work, and the scenes will make you angry.

But as a movie, this is a bad movie that spits on the real Junko Furuta. It’s not a movie that respects her and what happened to her. None of the three movies they have made about this case has had competent directors. 

If the Japanese are planning to make another movie about this case, I hope that a heavy drama director takes control. The director should focus on the most important things, which isn’t the violence and torture, but who Junko Furuta was as a person. Tell the story of when she was happy, and the contact she had with other people. Then switch to the court case and maybe show a few pictures of her injuries. Then tell us what the perpetrators did to her with the use of just words. That’s class, and that would treat this sensitive case with respect.

But I got a feeling that there are many more people who should be punished. There must have been several people who knew about where Junko Furuta was. The parents of one of the perpetrators knew about it since they ate food with Junko Furuta several times when the perpetrators hid there. But they were afraid of their violent son. They should spend the rest of their lives in jail. They are as guilty as the sick boys! How can they live with themselves?

But it seems like the Japanese are trying to sweep the case under the rug. I got the impression they want to forget the name of Junko Furuta. What’s wrong with you? You should be ashamed as a nation! You should learn from this tragic murder of an innocent girl! Shame on you! Shame on you!

Rating: 2/10

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