Chin Shun-shin no 'Shinju no Tsume'
1980 / 45m - Japan
The Claws of the Divine Beast poster


October 27, 2022


A short TV project by Seijun Suzuki. Don't expect to see any of his trademark quirks here, this is a pretty straightforward detective story that thrives on intrigue and a little twist at the end. I didn't get bored or annoyed watching this, at the same time, it's all very basic and by the numbers. It's hardly a highlight of Suzuki's long and memorable career.

When two old business partners quarrel about money, things are about to heat up. Unable to pay back his loan, one of the men offers the other a priceless artifact as collateral. The other man doesn't accept but ends up dead not much later. The culprit seems obvious, but the detective assigned to the case finds some inconsistencies and decides to dig a little deeper.

45 minutes is pretty short, so you won't have to worry about the pacing too much. The twist is decent enough too, but nothing out of the ordinary. The presentation can't hide the film's TV roots and is pretty unimpressive, certainly for Suzuki's standards, but that was only to be expected. This was pleasant enough filler, just nothing memorable.