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Villain review

Lee Song-il’s violent loser is a sensitive soul...

Nabbing five Japanese Oscars, Lee Song-il’s film is a chilly examination of casual cruelty in its many, mundane forms.

Introducing violent misfit Shimizu (Satoshi Tsumabuki), it mitigates his crimes by placing him among even more despicable characters and adopting new lover Mitsuyo’s (Eri Fukatsu) rose-tinted view.

Like early Haneke without the intellectual rigour but enlivened with beautiful moments of realisation, it’s a film that becomes harder to take the more it sides with its “sensitive” star.

Surely raping/killing people is reprehensible whether you cry at sunsets or not?

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