With films like Cure and Pulse , the Japanese writer-director Kiyoshi Kurosawa developed a reputation in the late 1990s and early 2000s as one of the masters of "J-horror." But even back then, his films defied easy categorization. Kurosawa's best-known movies are suspenseful and sometimes even terrifying. But they're also muted and mysterious, and are often more interested in messy human behavior and relationships than in ghosts and serial killers. Advertisement Kurosawa's latest film, Wife Of A Spy , is ostensibly a wartime thriller, set in the months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and drew the United States into World War II. As is his wont, Kurosawa sacrifices some conventional edge-of-the-seat genre elements, making a somber, slow-paced drama about a seemingly happy married couple whose bond gets strained as they find themselves involved in international espionage. The movie is sometimes quiet and poky to a fault; a few cheap pulp thrills might've made it feel more vital from start to finish. But Kurosawa and co-screenwriter Ryusuke Hamaguchi do gradually build tension and intrigue across Wife Of A Spy 's two hours, while also openly confronting a dark chapter of Japanese history. Yû Aoi plays the title character, Satoko Fukuhara,… Read full this story
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