If one was to ever question how amazing Suicide Club is, look no further than the first few minutes to get your answer. In it's opening, a line of 54 Japanese school girls join hands and jump to their death in front of a speeding train.
Blood and guts galore, the true intrigue lies not within these effects--but in the mystery of what causes this increasingly popular fad. Truth be told, the idea of suicide has always strangely intrigued me. I remember a website that became known to the public called My Death Space, a play on Myspace (back when that was hip), which gave the public access to recently deceased people's Myspace profiles. A great number of these, were teenagers or young adults that had committed suicide, often leaving suicide notes in their profiles under the journal feature or whatever it was called. I'm not sure if this site was the real deal, but I do know that it left me with a sort of freezing fear. The idea and concept of suicide and death felt so real from one computer to the next, and yet I still couldn't imagine how anyone could take their life like that.
Suicide Club surreally examines this concept of fads in the most brutal and intriguing of ways. There are so many possibilities and so many interpretations that one could be kept awake all night thinking. Once you think you have some idea of it's meaning something else crazy happens, causing you to second guess yourself, and then once you second guess yourself---baby chicks appear, yellow raincoats and the BEST song in the history of the world and then what? Your head explodes.
I won't waste time with a plot because you know it already--a lot of people kill themselves and no one knows why. BAM.
What's most chilling about Suicide Club? The anticipation and the question of whether or not someone is actually going to do it. I used to be terrified of loaded guns in movies being pointed at someone's head. That idea of not knowing just when something is going to explode is extremely nerve wracking, Suicide Club takes those anxieties and doubles them. Introducing you to character's, only to see them take their lives for no apparent reason other than the fact that they finally figured something out that you didn't. Blood? Guts? Gross? Yes. But I wouldn't call it the driving force behind the film. And as a matter of fact I was tickled pink at the sight of some technicolor like, red as paint blood during one very wonderful scene involving a knife and some fingers. Sure there are moments of fleeting nausea---human skin cinnamon roll anyone?
But our focus remains on the very idea or driving force behind the suicides, and that makes all the difference.
I must admit I've been quite absent from the Asian films as of late---I think my last one was The Host and I actually liked that one! It's no surprise that me and Asian films haven't been getting along, but Suicide Club completely reawakens an excitement within me (Enough to move Noriko's Dinner Table up to #1 in my queue). So what did I love besides everything? No jump scares, exaggerated blood effects upon suicides,
the concentration on the art of fads and what is popular--a theme that resonates in cultures not only in Japan where cell phone ornaments run amok but here as well (cough Justin Bieber), and of course the piece de resistance---Dessert! Desert! Dessart!
Oh and there's of course Genesis....but he's better left unexplained so that his moment of reveal is all the more amazing.
Truth is, I've spent an hour or so scouring forums and message boards to try to gain some new insight into my blatantly confused mind, but when it comes down to it, I like that the film has no book end of explanation. I'm even tempted to press play and watch the entire film all over again just to relive the joyous confusion that ensues. It's a beautiful film right down to it's soundtrack, gritty style of filming, and simplistic shots at the film's end. It's, as you may have guessed, right up my alley and hopefully many of yours as well. When it comes down to it, knowing is not truly important--rather the experience and living it, is what matters. Say what? I just uncovered the secret meaning behind the whole movie? Yesssssss!