Many of Japan’s top directors vied for the project. Over 20 companies bid on the film adaptation rights. And at last, TOHO brings Shuichi Yoshida’s award-winning novel, Villain (Akunin), to the screen as one of the most highly anticipated films of 2010. The director is Lee Sang-il, whose Hula Girls (2006) swept the awards in Japan that year, including Best Picture at the Japan Academy Prize. The music is composed by the world-renowned Joe Hisashi, who has scored many films by Hayao Miyazaki and Takeshi Kitano as well as the recent hit Departures (2008).
The protagonist (and killer), Yuichi, is played by Satoshi Tsumabuki (Josee, the Tiger and the Fish), who coveted the role. Mitsuyo, the woman who falls for and goes on the run with Yuichi, is played by Eri Fukatsu (The Magic Hour). In addition, the stellar supporting cast includes Masaki Okada (A Gentle Breeze in the Village) as a college student who holds the key to the murder case, Hikari Mitsushima (Love Exposure) as the murdered woman, Akira Emoto (Dr. Akagi) as the victim’s father, and Kirin Kiki (Still Walking) as the killer’s grandmother.
Yuichi is a construction worker who’s lived his entire life in a dreary fishing village. With no girlfriend or friends, he spends his days working and looking after his grandparents, with no enjoyment in life other than his car. Meanwhile, Mitsuyo also lives a monotonous life pacing between the men’s clothing store where she works and the apartment where she lives with her sister.
When the two lonely souls meet using an online dating site, they immediately fall in love with each other. But there’s a secret Yuichi had been keeping from Mitsuyo: he’s the one who killed the woman whose murder had been in the news for days.
Though Yuichi tries to turn himself in, Mitsuyo stops him. Having discovered the joy of loving someone for the first time in their lives, the desperate lovers go on the run. They arrive at a lighthouse, where they find the time and place to share a blissful moment together. But their getaway begins to ensnare the lives of families of both the killer and the victim.
Why did Yuichi kill the woman?
Why did Mitsuyo love a killer?
What fate awaits the families who were torn apart?
- LEE Sang-il
- Original Story
- YOSHIDA Shuichi
- NIHIRA Tomoyo
- LEE Sang-il
- HISAISHI Joe
- Theme Song
- FUKUHARA Miho
- Release Date in Japan
- Running time