What I thought was going to be a whole plot, turned out to only be the set up for Tetsuya Nakashima’s Confessions (告白). The way the trailer seemed to me, and my quick skim over the Wikipedia page, I was expected the mystery of student A and student B to be revealed slowly over the 106 minutes running time, and the revenge was the milk spiked HIV-infect blood. That turned out to be barely the first 20 minutes.
What follows are the confessions of the four people caught up in the revenge story of Yuko Moriguchi: herself, Mizuki – one of her sympathetic pupils, the mother of student B, and student A. As Yuko’s long-winded revenge plan unfolds, you get to see everyone’s motives, or why things happened like they did. Nakashima quite successfully plays with his audience, making your sympathies change with different characters as more and more is revealed. It is quite possible his intentions are for different people to feel for different characters at each point.
The boy who plays student A, Yukito Nishii is very impressive, almost worringly, and the mother of student B, Yoshino Kimura, is also very good. She’s probably the most emotionally stable characters so when she reacts to stuff, its much more emotional and real. Takako Matsu, who plays Yuki, is good in that when she says something died inside her when her daughter died, you can believe it, but there isn’t much shown of her before the incident to be able to compare it to. Her character being wooden is believable, but given the language barrier, its difficult to say whether it was just bad acting.
As revenge films go, Confessions is very subtle. There is a lot going on, a lot of drama, so at times you can forget the revenge is still unfolding, but the final sting hits quite hard, particularly if you’re sympathies now lie with a certain character, and it’ll stay with you for quite some time.