A rich tapestry of plotting which manages to be cohesive yet remarkably never slight in its characterizations, Kôji Fukada's A Missing Girl is a utterly devastating work which follows the slow descent of a kind-hearted woman whose life begins to crumble around her due to no direct fault of her own. Complex storytelling which never cowers to exposition, A Missing Girl is a layered examination of a familiar narrative archetype- the embattled heroine whose unjustly fallen victim to the mob. Eschewing notions of indignation, Fukada's film is a story of resignation, one in which the weight of the world, its version of the truth, suppresses and nearly destroys this character completely, leaving her eventually to a place of acceptance and even peace. A character piece with an alarming amount of narrative stratas, none-of-which feel half-baked or unnecessary, Fukada's precise, largely ascetic style of direction is tactical in its ability to invoke this presupposition of dread which is slowly surrounding this well-intentioned lead character, imbued with a foreboding sense of mystery through its formalist styling. The opaque nature of "truth" in the modern world where the great labyrinths of information have distorted or clouded the truth more than brought any sense of clarity. Connectivity providing an ample device for preconceived notions and self-referential experiences to subvert objective observation even more. These thematic ideas are a part of Kôji Fukada's A Missing Girl as well, with the filmmaker once again crafting a peculiar yet incisive work centered around a familiar narrative archetype which exudes, in its own unique sense, Japanese sensibilities related to shindoism.
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