2019 / 123m - Japan
One Night poster


August 10, 2020


Kazuya Shiraishi is quickly establishing himself as one of the leading directors of dark, Japanese dramas. While most of his films balance on the edge between extremely solid filler and minor masterpiece, they never disappoint and always bring something interesting to the table. One Night is no exception.

It tells the story of a mother who kills her husband in order to safeguard her three children from his abuse. Regardless of her sacrifice, the three are left behind with serious traumas. When they reunite 15 years later, it's obvious that the events of that one night have influenced their lives to a large degree.

It's the kind of setup you'd expect from a Shiraishi film, and he handles it appropriately. Performances are strong, the cinematography is grim but not unpleasant and the drama is allowed to thrive. It just lacks that tiny bit of polish to turn it into a certified masterpiece. Well recommended for fans of Japanese drama.