Charisma (1999) - Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Intentionally opaque and enigmatic in its narrative construction, Kurosawa's Charisma lacks the conceptual precision of his masterpiece Cure, yet the follow-up remains a deeply fascinating work, one which brings a post-modern lens to its expansive existential themes related to life and death and humanities place among the natural world. The anarchism intrinsic to the environmental juxtaposed with humanity's quest for the attainment of freedom rests at the fulcrum of Charisma, as the film details the largely intangible conception of the term freedom in that it's malleable and often distorted by utopic mythmaking which attempts to deny or deflect the embedded violence which is intrinsic to life. Freedom in a sense is chaos, it's a repudiation of man-made social order and an embracing of the anarchic harmony of the natural world, one in which conflict is inescapable and self-determinism is a necessary facade. Kurosawa does not have a pointed critique, per se, as the film feels far rooted in philosophical allegoric observation, yet its final denouement Charism seems to suggest a form of social mutualism detached from authority is necessary and attainable goal, for without such compromise, violence, conflict and destruction on a mass scale is inevitable. A highly fascinating work which more than likely than not becomes even more intellectually stimulating on subsequent viewings
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