Sunday, 27 May 2012

dvd review: crime or punishment?!?

Take heed of the title’s interrobang: Crime or Punishment?!? is a bewildering creation. In a similar vein to circular, multi-strand narratives like Go or 11:14, writer and director Keralino Sandorovich pins peculiar vignettes around the central story of dejected model Ajame (Riki Narumi), caught shoplifting and sentenced to a day’s community service as chief of police. In the station’s cobwebbed corridors, Ajame becomes entangled in inexplicable bureaucratic webs; to make matters worse, her ex-boyfriend – a serial killer as well as a cop – has been assigned to her command. Elsewhere, inept crooks taser one another and plan a heist, and myriad quirks layer like sediment over its busy 110-minute duration. Yet for all its eccentricities, Kera (as the director is also known) might have benefitted from visitations to even more outré territories, the frenetic tone peaking several notches below, say, Miike at his most manic. Nonetheless, its synthesis of Kafka, screwball comedy, and offbeat thriller, though lightweight, is thoroughly enjoyable.

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