Evil Does Not Exist review: It’s a complex, confusing and mysterious tale of a town that talks more through its silences than words!

Aishwarya Srinivasan
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Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival: In our Evil Does Not Exist review we talk about the beautiful cinematography and the film’s complicated ending!

Evil Does Not Exist review: Ryu Hamaguchi’s film revolves around this aesthetic village, which is a short drive away from Tokyo. Big buildings and factories have not spoiled it yet. In this very silent town lives Takumi (Hitoshi Omika), who makes a living by cutting wood and gathering clear water from a stream in cans for a restaurant that needs that water for their noodles. He is also a devoted single father but often forgets to pick his daughter up from school. One day, a corporate firm buys a certain amount of land in their village for a so-called glamping project so that well-off city residents can visit it. But the locals, including Takumi, voice their concerns about the septic tank used for this project that will eventually poison the village’s water supply. It looks like a story about a good village being spoiled by a huge corporation, but it isn’t just that.

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The film has more silences than dialogues. In fact there were no dialogues in the first 7 minutes of the film. It was a shot of trees with eerie background music playing, almost making it feel like a horror movie. Most of the film has that kind of vibe. While finding a middle ground to start the project, the film dives into a lot of complexities which are honestly confusing. When the two people from the corporation come to talk things out it feels like there is a solution to this problem but the film completely takes an unrelated turn. The narrative does not fit together and makes you wonder what’s the point of the story itself. By the end even the silences don’t work in the movie’s favor. As the title suggests, Evil really does not exist but then neither does good. There is no conclusion as such to the film and it’s left very open ended for you to think why we just saw what we saw. It lacks a good enough conflict in the story that'll keep you hooked.  Apart from the scenic and quaint landscapes of the village, the asmr of nature, and Takumi's adorable daughter, this film is a one time watch at best. 

Evil Does Not Exist had its Indian premiere at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival this year!

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Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival Evil Does Not Exist Evil Does Not Exist review Ryu Hamaguchi Takumi Hitoshi omika