Kinyu Fushoku Retto: Jubaku
1999 / 114m - Japan
Spellbound poster


July 06, 2022


Harada is the ideal man to bring a somewhat stale and dry subject to life. This financial/political drama/thriller could've easily turned out to be a stuffy and unimaginative recount of true events, instead, we get a relatively riveting and captivating film that entertains from start to finish. It's far from his best work, but it is definitely worth seeking out.

The capture of a high-ranking Yakuza criminal opens up a can of worms. He reveals a connection between the Yakuza and one of Japan's biggest banks. Once the cat is out of the bag, a large-scale investigation is launched. Kitano is one of the lead investigators, a righteous Pitbull who'll leave no stone unturned to find out the truth.

Harada's direction is animated, and the cast is superb. It's still not quite enough to get it close to a personal favorite, but making a 2-hour financial thriller somewhat thrilling is already a pretty big feat in an of itself. Harada is one of those directors who deliver quality no matter the genre he works in, Spellbound is no exception.