• Yun Ji Nam

On Movies: 'Jigsaw'


When James Wan and Leigh Whannell were still independent filmmakers back in 2003, they released a low-budget short film, “Saw,” which later turned into a magnificent franchise success to attract millions of Horror goers.

The countless audiences seeking an adrenaline rush have fallen in love with the chilling, uncomfortable journey where everybody’s secrets are shamelessly revealed, and the characters fight to prove their individual morality and good intentions in order to survive from well-invented killing machines.

Under clock-ticking extreme circumstances, each character reveals his or her hidden, nasty side as a human, and this somehow provokes viewers to look back on their own lives to reflect whether the decisions made were right or wrong, or fall in the grey area.

The “Saw” series has brilliantly blurred the boundary between the real world and the world on screen, terrorizing both the characters and the audience.

“Jigsaw” has been freshly released after 13 years, once again stirring people’s minds as its shocking predecessors did.

Opening with five characters chained with iron buckets on their heads, which are connected to the sharp, rolling saw-toothed-wheeled electric door boards ahead of them, “Jigsaw” doesn’t beat around the bush in suggesting its main theme from the beginning — “Admit and confess thy sins, or else you will be doomed.”

“Jigsaw” starts out confidently as a daring and bold movie wishing to weave on its compelling mystery and build up tension, but that tension soon becomes dull and lagging, and the catharsis that fans experienced from the forerunner films are not there.

“Jigsaw” doesn’t really extract any feelings from the audience. Since the movie doesn’t really release anything, neither does the audience. As I witnessed the character standing at the last minute, narrating an explanation for the plot twist and his or her motive, and what the movie was supposed to be all about, I felt numb. I felt betrayed. The uncomfortable, forceful spoon-feeding-like revelation of truth at the end made me sit still in the theater chair then I feel nothing more. The letdown was serious and all encompassing because fans were deceived and disappointed by what was loved and expected.

What started as another great “Saw” installment only lived for split seconds in the beginning then dissipated quickly — so does the tension and everything about the film, for that matter, including the relationship between the film and the audience. It is questionable whether there was deep-seeded meaning at all. Fans are left all alone in the dark not only during the movie but even after the movie finished.

#news #opinion #OnMovies #moviereview #Jigsaw

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