Release Date: February 14th, 2020
Duration: 134 mins.
Director: Keishi Otomo
Writer: Kaori Sawai (Script), Shinsuke Numata (Story)
Starring: Gou Ayano, Ryuhei Matsuda, Mariko Tsutsui, Tomoya Nakamura, Ken Yasuda, Jun Kunimura,
After spending the 90s working in TV, director Keishi Otomo moved into film and has built a filmography stacked with adaptations of novels and manga. He is best known for the internationally successful Rurouni Kenshin trilogy, a big-budget samurai series with a visual sheen of intense action, dizzying stunt work and exquisite period details that swept viewers away. He reigns everything in for his latest work, Beneath the Shadow, Eirin in Japanese.
This is based on a same-named 2017 Akutagawa prize-winning novel by Shinsuke Numata and is set in the director’s hometown of Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, both before and after the 3/11 disaster. It features a slow-burn character-driven drama that teases audiences with a light mystery that hinges on the idea that our interpretations of people’s behaviour can be wrong if our emotions get in the way but also, that all of us have something we keep in the shadows.