The Outsider is a Thriller set in Japan during the 1950’s
Disclaimer: None that are apparent.
The Outsider is a film that, while having an interesting presence, has enough gaps in the story to prevent the film from shining.
The Outsider focuses on Nick Lowell as he enters the world of the Yakuza, following a stay in prison.
The script for the film is relatively simple, focusing a lot on the political and honour aspects of the Yakuza traditions. There are, however, major gaps in the story that detract from the script. These gaps make the film difficult to follow at times.
While it is brave of Andrew Baldwin to write a script that does not explain everything that is on screen, his ability to pull this off is somewhat lacking.
Jared Leto as Nick Lowell
Courtesy of Ace Showbiz
Jared Leto leads the cast in this film with a stoic silence that can be mistaken for a lack of range. His character appears desperate to fit in. The lack of emotional conflict that his character appears to have, creates an uncompelling lead.
The remainder of the cast makes the best of what they can with the material that they have received. Todanobu Asano and Kippei Shina shine as Kiyoshi and Orochi, respectively adding to their pieces of the story for this film.
“While it is brave of Andrew Baldwin to write a script that does not explain everything that is on screen, his ability to pull this off is somewhat lacking.”
The style of direction puts more focus on the Osaka setting, as opposed to focusing on characters. Martin Zanvliet did a decent job of directing the movie.
He has created an environment where tension and anger bubble under the surface of the entire movie. The moments of violence that occur are not glorified but are rather short and to the point, quickly reverting back to the boiling tension that Zanvliet has worked hard to build.
The setting is beautiful. The use of the 1950’s Japan setting, creates an almost unique feel to the film. At times though, it does feel as if other movies have been able to pull off similar settings in a better fashion.
Zanvliet has a lot of potential as a director, however, I believe that he requires another couple of movies to find his true vision.
The Outsider is a quiet movie that seethes with anger below the surface. Unfortunately, the film is too confusing to be followed throughout.
Number of times I looked at my watch: Four
Recommendation: Watch this movie, if you have the time.