DVD Nazotoki wa dinâ no ato de

DVD Nazotoki wa dinâ no ato de
DVD Nazotoki wa dinâ no ato de

Run time: 121 min
Rating: 6.1
Genres: Mystery
Director: Masato Hijikata
Writers: Tokuya Higashigawa
Stars: Shô Sakurai, Keiko Kitagawa, Vincent Giry
Country: Japan
Release Date: 3 August 2013 (Japan)


  1. "The After-Dinner Mysteries" is apparently a quite popular Japanese series but you don't need to know that to enjoy this vivid movie. This very Japanese over-the-top film mixes elements of different genres such as dramas, slapstick comedies or old-fashioned suspense movies. This movie surely has a touch of "Death On The Nile" but also elements of "Casino Royale", "Robinson Crusoe", "The Naked Gun" or "Titanic" for example. The mixture of Western and Eastern elements is in fact very balanced in this film but it really depends on your very individual taste if you find this movie pretty entertaining or just ridiculously overwhelming.

    There are many elements I really liked about the movie. First of all, the film features several interesting side stories that are leading into one big story in the end. We basically get introduced to different pieces of the same puzzle. We follow the paths of a hysterical lottery winner, two lame-brained thieves, a lonely lounge-singer and more. All these stories are connected to two mysterious murders that are taking place on a luxurious cruise ship that seem to be more or less connected to the presence of two worthy oeuvres d'art that are getting transported from Japan to Singapur.

    The way the movie mixes tension-filled scenes as when the main character gets mysteriously kidnapped and her life only depends on a risky poker tournament her assistant must win, dramatic or romantic passages when the lounge-singer slowly realizes that people all around her aren't what they pretend to be and funny moments when slapstick characters such as Detective Kazamatsuri ("Hai, hai, hai!" is by far my favourite and most memorable tag line in the movie) come into play is really diverting. The acting is quite good in this movie even though or maybe exactly because this plot works with amusing stereotypes.

    I also liked the movie's out-thought final parts when the mysteries get completely resolved as in a classic suspense movie and when we see the falling action and the impacts of the climax on the different characters who gain more and more depth towards the end.

    From an even more artistic point, the set decorations are very detailed, the camera and light work is truly solid and even the soundtrack is very well chosen.

    There are still a few negative elements in this movie. It's a truly diversified movie but that's why it also feels a little bit too direction-less at times. Some scenes feel rather like a a ridiculous waste of time without adding much to the story. The scenes on the desert island are a good example for this category.

    While most actors give their very best in this film, the main character Hosho Reiko is rather annoying, superficial and almost unimportant. That's the first time I remember a more epic movie with many characters where the main characters is by far the least intriguing one. Maybe it's because of some flaws in the script or due to the ordinary acting by Kitagawa Keiko or in reason of both. The idea of a smart but two-faced woman who is an elegant and rich heiress and a nervous rookie police officer at the same time is quite good but its potential is not quite used in this film. There would have been room for some more amusing scenes between Hosho Reiko and her amusingly stupid superior Kazamatsuri and even the chemistry with her snobbish but clever butler Kageyama.

    While the movie definitely has several flaws, it remains a fast-paced and entertaining movie that kept me guessing until the end and that had a few charming twists. Fans of Japanese cinema will adore this movie. Everybody else might find the mixture of genres in here exotically exciting or simply exaggeratedly odd. Choose your camp and watch some trailers first before you spend any money on this film.

  2. Following the immensely popular television drama series in 2011 (which was also broadcasted on our local television network in 2012), The After-Dinner Mysteries returns with a movie packed with entertainment! The movie centres the mystery behind a series of murder that occurred on a luxurious cruise bound for Singapore. The murderer is hiding amongst the 3000 people onboard, with a motive yet to be unveiled. With the series of incidents which even threatened the life of Hosho Reiko, a police and the heiress of a rich family, can her butler Kageyama successfully protect her from harm and solve the mysteries?

    A never done before in its television drama series, more than half of the film is shot overseas, which heavily featured Singapore! This definitely is one of the appeals to our local audience, as it is rather refreshing to see Singapore from the perspective of a foreign film, which brilliantly captured the beauty of many familiar sights. Although it is the first attempt at a movie for veteran television drama director Hijikata Masato, this movie didn't seem like it is just another episode pulled out from the television series, it was in fact a work that is pretty outstanding. On top of that, many scenes are scaled up for the silver screen, such as the helicopter scenes, the full shot of the Star Cruise Virgo, and even the scenes at the 'no man's island'.

    The regular cast Sakurai Sho (as Kageyama), Kitagawa Keiko (as Hosho Reiko) and Shiina Kippei (as Kazamatsuri) have showed greater chemistry on screen. Kageyama is as usual sharp tongued and curt towards Reiko, which came across as natural and expected by now. It is also more refreshing as there were more interactions between Kageyama and other members of the cast this time, as he is more directly involved in the mystery solving.

    Apart from the series' regular cast, the movie has a strong lineup of supporting cast which increased the entertainment value of the movie exponentially. In particular, veteran actor Nakamura Masatoshi nailed his role as the manager of the luxury cruise, who is also the father of the jazz singer (played by Sakaraba Nanami). The exchanges between Sakuraba Nanami and Nakamura Masatoshi is a definite plus point to the movie which made the drama better. Takenaka Naoto and Okura Koji, who played the roles of the wacky brothers, also impressed greatly on the audiences, bringing out a lot of laughter and comedic elements.

    Although the movie ought to be on 'mystery-solving', it was not too heavily focused on just solving the mysteries. It was well balanced out with the drama side of the movie. The story had many layers and unexpected twists and turns, but was overall very easy to follow. Also, the comedy and humour of the movie has leveled up from the drama series. Even the character mascot of the luxurious cruise had a part to play in bringing out the fun and laughter. Overall the story and comedy kept the audiences rather engaged and entertained.

    Last but not least, sharing with you a movie trivia. Our national symbol, the Merlion, was undergoing maintenance works when the filming crew and cast came to Singapore last year. The Merlion that you see towards the end of the movie is actually a result of a near-perfect post production CG enhancement! This goes to show the amount of effort and detail invested into this movie to make it perfect. Kudos to that!

    Like many other Japanese dramas and movies, it is almost a given that it will resolve with a rather cliché ending. However, if it had ended otherwise, it would be strange too. So it is forever a love-hate relationship with those cliché endings. Nevertheless, The After-Dinner Mysteries movie was a fun and light-hearted one. Mystery solving, humour, comedy, drama and action all packed into one. Even the non- followers of the television series are guaranteed to be entertained!


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