Confessions Movie Recap

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This is definitely a psychological thriller at its best! This is the real thing my friends! I’ve read good reviews about Confessions but didn’t bother to watch it until now.  Jeez, that turns to be a mistake.

Just so you know, I really had a hard time making this recap. Phew! Never thought I’ll be able to finish this. The multiple first person narratives gave me headaches for days! This, I say, is not an easy movie to watch.😉

Movie Recap

Class 2B is a recipient of a certain health project and they were given free milk. Of course, the students were good enough to drink all of it. The teacher comes in, explaining things but the students didn’t even bother to listen.

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March 25. It’s the last day of school before the Spring Holidays. And it also happens to be the last day for Yuko Moriguchi (Takako Matsu) as their junior high teacher. She had enough and decides to resign. Her students are more than happy to hear that though. Such a crazy, apathetic bunch!

Moriguchi shares something about  Masayoshi Sakuramiya, a teacher who remained passionate despite having only a few months to live. She doesn’t know if she could consider herself a good teacher though, but she did try her best to follow certain rules. First, address students politely. Second, place herself on the same level as them. Speak to them as they’d like to be spoken to. Be frank with them as if they were her friends, talking to them about anything they wanted.

She says sorry for not talking to them as nicely as she could, but the truth is, she doesn’t trust them. The confession, of course, earns a rage of negative responses. They can’t blame her though as they prove to be good liars. She remembers an incident where a young girl was angry at a teacher for scolding her. She played a prank on him, sending him a message that she loves him and if he won’t meet her at a love hotel, she’ll kill herself. The poor teacher panicked and when he came, the student took a picture of him and showed it to her parents. Of course, the teacher received severe punishments. Nevertheless, it was the teacher’s fault. It was foolish to trust students to begin with.

Moriguchi: Thinking about vain things, you can become self-absorbed and tends to be wrapped up in your own little world. It’s easy to forget what it means to simply live.

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As for their last lesson, she’ll be teaching them about LIFE.

All of them knew, she was a single parent. She was about to marry a fellow teacher when she got pregnant. But her fiancé was then diagnosed to have HIV. For the sake of their child, they cancelled the wedding. If they were to be married, the child would have suffered public humiliation. It was difficult for her but it’s almost unbearable for the father not to hold their child, Minami.

She showered Minami all her love. When Minami was 4, she enrolled her at a local nursery. Ms. Takenaka, a retired teacher who lives near the school, was kind enough to let Minami stay with her after school time. But when Ms. Takenaka went ill, she had no choice but let Minami stay at the infirmary.

February 13. Minami went missing. They find her at the swimming pool… dead. Police officers determined that she slipped and drowned. Moriguchi blamed herself for not taking care of Minami. Her daughter died but she won’t leave it at that becoz Minami was, in fact, killed by students in her class. The declaration instantaneously creates a buzz among students.

Moriguchi: What is it that protects you? Parents? Weapons? No, your strongest ally is the juvenile law.

The law states that children under 14 years old can’t be punished for their crimes. She remembers the Lunacy incident, where a 13 yr old girl put different kind of drugs on her family’s food and published the details of the crime on her blog. Police never knew why she killed her family. But after, a few remorseful statements at the juvenile center she was released. Worse, she even gained fans her age.

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Minami had always loved collecting Cotton Bunny souvenirs. But when Ms. Takenaka returned Minami’s belongings, a Cotton Bunny pouch caught her attention. She never bought Minami that pouch, even though her daughter cried her heart out. Was Minami really alone at the pool that day?

It dawned on her that the only punishment students get is running a few laps or cleaning the pool. She puts the pieces together and eventually learns that Minami was murdered by two of her students, and she’ll dubbed them “A” and “B”.

A is a straight A student. No one will ever guess he has any problems at all. But there are strange humors about him from time to time. He was said  to be torturing stray cats and dogs using his execution machine. The students then knew “A” is Shuuya Watanabe (Yukito Nichii).

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She called his former teacher but he just said he’s a good kid. She almost gave up until one day, A made her a testing subject for his new invention, an anti-theft wallet. He joined the science fair and won first place.

She asked him about Minami’s death and he told the truth with a smile on his face. He hardly didn’t care who he killed, it was pure naïvety for him. It was just the desire to be recognized. But on the day he got his wish, the world turned their eyes on the “Lunacy Girl”. He got angry and laughed at the stupidity of it. If he’s to kill someone, he’ll do it just like what he did with Minami. She will kill the brat. That was what Moriguchi thought.

B, on the other hand, transferred to the school to join the PE club. It was all about athletics for him. But they wouldn’t even let him hold a racket. He got fed up but doesn’t have the nerve to tell the teacher. Eventually, he quit the club and enrolled in a cram school. But his grades didn’t improve much as well. He was worried but was too lazy to do something about it. He frequented arcades and ended up in a police station. He was shocked when Mr. Tokura showed up instead of Moriguchi. He confessed of the crime when she visited him at home. Despite the severity of the crime, B’s Mom only said “It’s Unfair”. Too bad, she wasn’t referring to Moriguchi’s dead daughter but his son,  Naoki Shimomura (Kaori Fujiwara).

Early February, A meets B. A upgraded his invention and wanted a new test subject. B suggested Mr. Tokura and Ms. Moriguchi, but A wasn’t interested. B then suggested Moriguchi’s daughter. It was settled.

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They targeted Moriguchi’s daughter.  A was actually happy that Minami died. He even instructed B to tell everybody he killed the little girl all by himself. But B got frightened, he got rid of the pouch and threw Minami’s body into the pool.

Even though Moriguchi knew the truth behind Minami’s death, she doesn’t have any intentions of reporting to the police. They’ll be protected by the juvenile law anyways. Besides, the pouch didn’t kill Manami. There wasn’t enough electric current. It was when B threw her into the pool that she drowned. But as their teacher, it is her job to reprimand students if they did something wrong. She wants them to feel the burden of their crimes.

Minami’s father is actually Sakuramiya. And yes, he does have HIV. So, to teach the little murderers some lesson, she mixed HIV-contaminated blood on their milk. If their blood turns positive for HIV after 3 months, then they’ll only have 5-10 years to live, long enough to repent for their sins and to realize the value of life.

The class panics and the murderers appear appalled. Shuuya dashes out of the room. Maybe, trying to vomit the milk out? Naoki just sits there, shock and horrified.

After the spring holiday, aside from having a new enthusiastic  homeroom teacher, nothing much have changed.

Kitahara: I think everyone was just cowards. They wanted to hide form the horrible truth Ms. Moriguchi had shown us. So they pretended to be stupid.

The new teacher, Yoshiteru Terada (Masaki Okada) is a passionate teacher. He wanted to be just like his idol, Masayoshi Sakuramiya (Moriguchi’s fiancé) and even quoted a phrase on his book. The whole class jolts into laughter. What a coincidence! That got to be the funniest joke ever.

Student B aka Naoki stopped going to school. Terada covered his absence with lies about being sick and having colds. The class knew better. Shuuya, however, keeps going to school. But this time, the class turned against him and organized a point-system “Holy War” and whoever bullies him the most wins.

But after someone sends an anonymous report about the bullying to Terada, the class suspects Misuki Kitahara (Ai Hasimoto) who ratted them out, since she’s the only one who never bullied him.  As punishment, they forced Misuki and Shuuya to kiss. That night, Shuuya shows Misuki his medical results, assuring her that he is negative of HIV. But Misuki knew all along.  She didn’t believe Moriguchi could kill someone. She doesn’t have the guts. And if she really did want to kill them, then she wouldn’t be talking about the importance of life. Her classmates were too dumb to believe her though.

After that, Shuuya and Mizuki became friends. And when the class starts to bully Mizuki as well, Shuuya got pissed. He cuts his finger and wipes the blood on the leader’s face. Now, that puts a stop to the bullying.  Eventually, Mizuki develops feelings for Shuuya and they start a relationship. Misuki then reveals her “other self”, a side she never shown to anyone, the Lunacy Girl.

Determined to convince Naoki to go back to school, Mr. Terada suggested that the class make a letter to encourage him. But it turns out, the letter has a hidden message, telling Naoki to just commit suicide. Once a week, Mr. Terada and Mizuki, being the class representative, drops  by Naoki’s house. But every time they do, Naoki starts acting crazy.

Naoki is worried that he will soon die from HIV. He won’t even let his mother touch him. He washes everything like a maniac but refuses to clean himself. He is violent and shuts himself in the room. He stinks, literally. But the stink reassures him that he is still alive. His father is always away for work and his sister is studying in Tokyo. It’s just him and Mom, and so it burdens his Mom seeing her “gentle” son gone mad. So, she puts a sleeping pill in his food. And while he sleeps, she cuts his hair and cleans his body. Surprisingly, when he wakes up, he doesn’t seem frantic. He’s calm and somehow, appears normal. Mom is happy, thinking her son is back.

But… things just gotten worse.

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It seems Naoki lost his mind. He cuts himself using the blade and is very happy about it. In a calm voice, he tells Mom he might be infected with AIDS. Mom panics and insists that they go to the hospital. But Naoki isn’t a bit concerned. He deserves to die anyway coz he’s a murderer. Mom tries to justify his actions, he was just helping a friend get rid of the body. It’s not his fault. Naoki then confesses he didn’t dispose a body, she was still breathing and she even opened her eyes in front of him, but he still threw her in the pool.

Mom is horrified, realizing that  her son has turned into a monster.

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Seeing no hope, she decides to end both their lives. She stabs him with a knife while hugging him, but it isn’t deep enough to kill him. So, Naoki, shocked and enraged, pulls the knife and kills her in a stabbing frenzy. Naoki is arrested and the murder hits the national news.

Naoki:  I only wanted to have a friend. I was happy when Watanabe talked to me. I even  suggested Moriguchi’s daughter. Now, I can’t even remember why I did that. After “killing” the girl, Watanabe told me I’m just a pathetic and worthless piece of sh*t. It dawned on me that Watanabe only wanted to kill someone. But he failed. Watanabe wanted to kill someone but screwed up. So I did what Watanabe can’t and threw the girl. So, who’s pathetic and worthless now?

An investigation occurs, both Terada and Mizuki are called for the investigation. When Mizuki was asked who was responsible for Naoki’s behavior, she turned the blame to Terada. Dammit! Can’t understand these kids! Just when I thought, she’s the normal one. 

Shuya gets frustrated that a wimpy kid like Naoki actually gets to kill his own Mom. He can’t seem to get over the fact that someone like Naoki beats him off to stardom. Mizuki gets tired of his whining and confronts him for having a simple case of Oedipus Complex. Shuuya’s temper flares and accuses her of being afraid of death, and kills her. Her warm body creeps him out so he puts the body in the fridge.

While waiting for death, Mizuki remembers the night she saw Moriguchi talking with Terada. She wanted to talk to her about her last day as their teacher. She knew that Moriguchi couldn’t possibly kill her own students. Putting it simply, she doesn’t have the guts. Moriguchi laughs, actually she had, but her her “husband” stopped her.  And even if she did, the virus would have died even before they drank the milk.

Moriguchi: If you mix that blood into their drink, you’ll only repaying hatred with hatred. Your mind will never be at ease. They’re sure to see the error of their ways one day. Let’s believe in them. For in their redemption lies your recovery.  That’s what Sakuriyama told me. He always knew what to say.

But she can’t just leave things the way it is and admits being responsible for everything . She used Terada to make them suffer.  She meets him every now and then, she feeds him lies and lies, telling him to visit Naoki at least once a week. As for Shuuya, she suggested fabricating a message from someone in the class. She knew this would only make things worse. She was so disappointed that he wasn’t being bullied anymore. The original plan was to surround him with hostile students, to the extent that the only escape is to either kill himself or someone did it for him. But then, they were a nicer bunch than she thought.

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Knowing that Moriguchi’s anger ran deeper than she imagined, Mizuki pleads that she spare Shuuya. He’s just a young man who longs for a mother’s love and attention. But Moriguchi can’t just forgive him. After all  he killed Minami.

Shuuya posts a video update on his blog. He’s building something…a bomb and he’s planning a mass murder. And so the investigators won’t be troubled making lame reasons why he did that, he’ll just say everything in the video.

His mother physically abused him when he was young. And when she became unhappy with her life, she decided to abandon him and pursue her scientific ambitions. He wanted the world, especially Mom to notice his talents. He invented an anti-theft wallet, but it didn’t even make a sound. So he decided to do something bigger, something like murder. But he needed an accomplice, somebody weak and worthless, an idiot who will never know what he truly thinks, somebody like Naoki. But even that failed.

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So when, Moriguchi announced she put HIV-contaminated blood on his drink, he was excited. A life-threatening disease is just what he needs. Mom will have no choice but see him now. But then again, he was tested negative. He dated “Lunacy Girl”, but still, those were wasted times. Everything after that were just boring ways to pass time, smiles, tears this and that.

He didn’t knew where to use the bomb, until he received a message from Mom on his blog. She posted her address and he went to the university the next day. He saw her there but he realized he doesn’t need her hug but her recognition of his talents. So, he went off to fulfill his destiny. He plants the bomb at their graduation ceremony where he will his award-winning essay entitled “Life”.

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Shuya: Life is important. That every life is beautiful… Just kidding.

However, the bomb does not go off and is revealed to be missing; he then receives a call from Moriguchi telling him that she disarmed the bomb that morning. It was rather simple, a feeble work of a feeble mind. She was following his blog. All these time, she was thinking of ways to have her revenge, but killing him wasn’t a option as he doesn’t seem to value his own life. Until, she saw his little video for Mom and as his teacher, she must correct his work.

After Mizuki, told her his Achilles heel, everything was so easy for her. She posted the contact number of his Mom.  And as expected, he went to the university all hyped up and excited with his “junks”. But she wasn’t there. She went off to have her honeymoon and he left crying like a child. Quite the opposite from the kid who gloats about his “work and destiny.”

Moriguchi: Why do innocent people die for you? This was between you and your mother. If you’re going to kill someone, better start with your Mom.

This time, Shuuya is already panicking.

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She informs him that the police are on the way to his house, for sure, they’ll find Mizuki’s body. And before she forgets, she left his invention at his Mom’s office. She was a wonderful person, so she was praying he won’t detonate the bomb, but then he did it anyway.

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Moriguchi: Watanabe, you’re the one who made the bomb. And you’re the one who pushed the detonator.

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Justice is served!

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Gawd! I just love how she ended it. With a tear in her eyes and a smile on her face, she said “Just kidding”, referring to Shuuya’s bitter sense of humor.

Posted on January 21, 2013, in Japanese Drama/ Movies and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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