Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Terminal Trust/Tsui no Shintaku(2012)

Director: Masayuki  Suo
Country: Japan

Synopsis: Internist Ayano Orii, having made a failed suicide attempt after a romantic breakup, finds herself unusually sensitive to the pain of her patient Shinzo Egi, whose severe asthma attacks will soon threaten to kill him. It helps that Egi, stoic about his own pain, finds indirect ways to assuage hers. The two have long, heart-to-heart visits that may look like fantasy to anyone who's ever fought for two more minutes of a busy doctor's time. Coming to feel that he can trust her more than his own family, Egi asks Dr. Orii to promise she will end his life once things get bad enough that his body can only breathe and be nourished through tubes. Orii sadly agrees, and some time later -- in a scene suggesting that "pulling the plug" can be a violent, terrifying thing even when done lovingly -- she helps him die. We see all this in flashback, as Orii sits, three years later, in the waiting room of a prosecutor investigating her actions. –hollywoodreporter.com

Review: The theme of the film is a well-worn subject. Euthanasia or mercy-killing has been discussed ad nauseam over the last few decades. Masayuki Suo fails to add a spark that might have saved this movie from becoming a monologue on the much trampled subject.

The relationship between the doctor and the patient is explored is so much detail that if the deaf adder in Bible had heard the audio track of the film, it would have understood that Dr. Orii and Egi shared a close bond! In the end, the director spends so much time in getting this one single point across to the viewer that he loses the attention when he’s making his big point.

At 144 minutes, A Terminal Trust is one of the longest movies I have sat through in IFFK 2012. Even the company of a guy who adds spice to life (no, he’s not a chef!) did not help in making the film seem faster. A film is not a thesis, where you reiterate your point from a hundred different angles. A simple, fast and sexy curve is sometimes the best angle!

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