Sôseiji (1999)

Sôseiji (1999)

Masahiro MotokiRyôYasutaka TsutsuiMasako Motai
Shin'ya Tsukamoto


Sôseiji (1999) is a Japanese movie. Shin'ya Tsukamoto has directed this movie. Masahiro Motoki,Ryô,Yasutaka Tsutsui,Masako Motai are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1999. Sôseiji (1999) is considered one of the best Drama,Fantasy,Horror,Mystery,Thriller movie in India and around the world.

Yukio is living a charmed life: he is a respected young doctor with a successful practice and a beautiful wife. His only problem is that his wife is suffering from amnesia, and her past is unknown. Things begin to fall apart, however, when both his parents die suddenly, killed by a mysterious stranger with Yukio's face. Only when Yukio confronts this stranger will the mystery of his identity, and his wife's past, be revealed.


Same Director

Sôseiji (1999) Reviews

  • The Sins of our Parents


    Shinya Tsukamoto's take on a Meiji era "Cask of Amantillado", and the parable of Cain and Abel, is possibly one of the best Japanese horror-films ever lensed. There are no supernatural-elements, only the landscape of tormented human-souls. This was a for-hire film for Tsukamoto, and was released through Toho studios. For a director who has often expressed his love for the Toho monster films, it was a dream-come-true, and it did well in Japan. The film was originally slated to be less than feature-length, but because of the director's resourcefulness, it was lengthened to a running-time of 83-minutes. I originally thought the film was a little short, but there-it-is. More amazing is the fact that Tsukamototo was director, editor, writer and cinematographer! Perfection is achieved in all-areas. While based on a story by the noted Japanese author, Edogawa Rampo, Tsukamoto has made a tale that is more his own. First, he changed the setting of the period-piece from the Showa era (1920s), to the late Meiji era when poverty was more-obvious in Japanese society. He also changed a major plot-point: in Edogawa's original, the doppleganger-brother (Sutekichi) murders his brother, throws him into a disused-well, and steals his identity permanently. Tsukamoto's revisions allow-for much more by the survival of the brother (Yukio), and is more realist since the Sutekichi would have to learn all the medical-knowledge Yukio knows. This would push the story into the realms of the supernatural or the absurd. But, the truth is, this is the oldest-story told. The real trick is making it one's own, and the director achieves this with his running-theme of the love-triangle, and a feminine-wisdom that teaches the male-protagonists something they could never learn otherwise. As-usual, there are also the themes of class and one's standing and honor in Japanese society. It should be noted that the Japanese have been very-obsessed with an aesthetic for purity and order (like Germans?), and this extends to people. Even today, survivors and the children of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are discriminated-against for being "contaminated" and "impure". In the late Meiji era, it was much-worse. The children of the wealthy would be abandoned, just as the brother, Sutekichi. His serpentine-birthmark causes his removal by his purity-obsessed parents, and he is the "bad-seed" to them. The story isn't a long-stretch, and one has to imagine how the real outcasts reacted. And yet, this is still a parable about Japanese society, which has a strangely universal-appeal. Gemini has a tension to it that resembles Poe's stories, and it is also about the psychology between people. Sutekichi is the monster of this tale, but he was created-by his parents who abandoned-him near the slums. Sutekichi is raised, and taught by a thief to survive, much like an animal. His visage, covered in filth and rat-pelts, is terrifying. He scarcely looks human, a shadow-image of the successful doctor, Yukio. Sutekichi represents the oppression of Japan's violent, disordered-past from the eras of the Shogun and the Samurai. Yukio represents the emergence of a modern Japan, with his work as a doctor and his bourgeois life with his new-wife, Rin. He toils helping cure the rich and the poor alike, and is a hero as a field-doctor in the Russo-Japanese war (1904-1905). This is important: it was the war that ushered-in Japan as a modern nation, and was the first time that a Western power was defeated by an Asian one. This is about a new Japan. And yet, the story is creepy. Sutekichi murders his mother and father dressed as a shaman or ghost from traditional Japanese-lore. Also, Yukio and Sutekichi are identical-in-appearance. He is an apparition of the past. Also, the doppelganger is universal as an occult-symbol of death and the unknown, and this is perhaps why the film has a wider-appeal. By the end, it's clear that Yukio must absorb his brother to become whole. In killing his brother, there is a union of the past and present. He has understood the depravity of the slums by festering in the well, and he has understood the crimes of his parents. Rin also plays her part in educating Yukio what it is to be poor and desperate--to live like an animal. The doctor will return to his practice a full-man, but there is an ambivalence, as he also looks menacing striding towards the camera. It is very-much like the ending of Scanners, and so, the connection with Cronenberg remains.

  • Ethereal, Brutal


    A film of extremes. "Tetsuo" and its sequel were ripping bouts of cinematic mayhem. This film, "Gemini", represents a stunning turnabout for the director who applies a sure, delicate hand to an unnerving mystery. A doctor in 1910 Japan lives a seemingly perfect life; he is handsome, he is married to a beautiful (albeit perplexing and inscrutable) woman and he is a renowned doctor. The deaths of his parents send the doctor down a spiral of madness and violence. His wife grows more distant and enigmatic. He loses his grip on reality but the nightmarish events seem to spring from his own hand... Frequently the imagery is rigorously symmetrical, composed with a great deal of poetry and ethereal beauty. Many of the shots are masterpieces of Japanese design. The effect is like a spiderweb where all the strands are perfectly aligned and no two edges seem to deviate from the basic construction. Even in the most tranquil image, the director creates a sense of palpable menace, as though the air is tinged with the smells of blood and gore even though the shot may be of a perfectly kept garden. On this elegant framework the director lays on stunning moments of violence and revelatory mayhem. Besides the visceral elements, there is a great deal of psychic violence in the film. The audience witnesses the mental descent of the doctor so delicately and precisely that it seems that we can see the hairs rising on the back of his neck. An unsettling and very rewarding film.

  • Tsukamoto's best?


    First things first: somebody needs to officially release this film in the United States. I see three thousand copies of Dude, Where's My Car every time I step outside, but when I want to see a beautiful and interesting film like Gemini, I have to track down a dubious bootleg on eBay. Pitiful. The plot concerns a rich doctor suddenly thrown into a well by a man who looks exactly like him. The mysterious doppelganger takes over the doctor's identity, his household, and his wife, all the while laughing and taunting down the well at his imprisoned twin. As the mysterious lookalike gradually reveals the truth to the doctor, it becomes less and less certain which of the twins is the "hero" and which is the "villain." Shinya Tsukamoto isn't a great director yet, but he's getting there. With Gemini he reveals a tremendous versatility, combining moments of sedate drama with hyperkinetic sequences of terror and joy. The actors are all magnificent (especially Masahiro Motoki in a complex double role), the cinematography is stunning, and the story is thoroughly intriguing and well told. It's not the best movie ever made by any means, but here and there Tsukamoto manages a few moments of real greatness, scenes where we genuinely become one with these characters and their needs. Watch the doctor, defeated and filthy at the bottom of his well, beg for a release from his suffering; watch the wife burst into tears as she remembers her past existence. Tsukamoto knows what he's doing. He hasn't quite achieved true greatness yet, but one day he may just break through.

  • beautiful terror

    Red Zebra2000-08-27

    After having been impressed by the Tetsuo series, Gemini was all I was hoping for and much more. The cinematography is some of the most beautiful and evocative I've seen, with wonderful use of colour, light and design. Though I'd been told this movie was not "cyberpunk" like testsuo, in a way it had a similar ethic, questioning "what makes a person a person", although in this case it's more about what makes one "good or evil". I saw it the same night as I saw another popular Japanese horror, "The Ring", which curiously also features a well, but I found Gemini much more sinister and frightening.

  • I love Tsukamoto!


    Based on a novel by Edogawa Rampo, a Japanese author whose name transliterates to "Edgar Allen Poe". This story is very Poe-like, covering the subject of doppelgängers much like "William Wilson". Gemini is somewhat confusing, but overall it is a haunting film that actually generates fear and a deeper feeling of uneasiness. A rich doctor marries an amnesiac whose origins are unknown. Soon, her former lover – who happens to be the doctor's twin brother who was abandoned and then raised in the slums – comes back to claim what is his. The doppelgänger throws the doctor into a well and tries to win back his former wife. Soon, the twins begin to exchange personalities until, by the end, it's not entirely clear which one is the victor – or even if the final version of the man doesn't share the minds of both brothers. The film is slow to start, but it climbs to a high level. The technical aspects are especially amazing here. The makeup, the sound, the editing – everything is top notch. The acting is also great. Masahiro Motoki – whose other starring roles include Miike's exceptional The Bird People of China as well as a tryptich of Rampo adaptations named after the author – plays the doctor and his evil twin. A woman simply known as Ryo plays the doctor's wife. She's got a particularly intriguing face. She also starred in Ryuhei Kitamura's Alive. Gemini is not an easy picture, nor is it entirely satisfying. But it is great.


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