Interesting medical/sci-fi drama
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 08/10/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Toshiaki Nagashima's opening lecture on mitochondria sets the premise of the movie. Basically, within a cell, mitochondria has its own DNA, and is critical in creating energy. Nagashima further states that mitochondria entered man as a parasite but became vital to humans and lived symbiotically. Nagashima's studies involve growing healthy mitochondria, insert them in cells diseased by cirrhosis or diabetes, and curing said cells. He is assisted in this by Sawako Asakura, a lab assistant working on her dissertation, on lab rats, and both are encouraged upon discovering that the livers of some rats have improved.However, the question arises, do mitochondria have an agenda of their own, despite the fact that they don't have enough DNA to be independent? And as a grade-schooler asks Asakura after she tells his class there are many helpful organisms inside the body, "Won't they try to control us when we get big?"The day of Nagashima's lecture also happens to be his first-year anniversary. However, he never gets to celebrate it. His timid and loving wife Kiyomi becomes involved in an accident that renders her brain-dead. He is totally shattered, insisting that she is still alive.Enter Dr. Yoshizawa, a surgeon who is desperately seeking a kidney donor to help a 12-year old girl, Mariko. Her body rejected the previous donor's kidney, but this time, Kiyomi's data is assessed, with positive compatibility results.Toshiaki finally agrees, on the condition that Yoshizawa gives him Kiyomi's liver. Yoshizawa is perplexed by this agreement, but eager to succeed with Mariko, agrees.The mystery begins when Mariko's new kidney begins acting strangely and she becomes alarmed by ominous liquid-like sounds burbling. And at first, Toshiaki's culturing his dead wife's cells seem like the act of someone who has snapped, but the further the film progresses, we see how much Kiyomi meant to Toshiaki. Unfortunately, things take a weird turn when Toshiaki examines one of Kiyomi's cell cultures.Hiroshi Mikami does great as a typical research scientist, forgetful and absent-minded at times, and the haunted look on his face in reaction to his wife's death, and his obsession in keeping her alive, is some pretty good acting. Riona Hazuki projects a fragile and gentle beauty as Kiyomi, especially in the scenes before her death and in the flashbacks we see when Toshiaki first meets her and is smitten.The title Parasite Eve has to due with Nagashima's lecture that we all get mitochondria from our mothers, and one can see "the mother of us all, the 'Eve' of mythology." Biology majors and students interested in biology may be interested in this not bad medical/sci-fi drama, which is leisurely-paced during the first half, but becomes more uptempo during the more suspenseful second half."
Pretty good, even though it was in japanese.
Jennifer Mortillo-Contrano | NY | 08/14/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was a great movie! I loved the game series so I figured I'd buy this movie. I must say I WAS disappointed to find that almost NOTHING from the game was in it, but the interesting storyline kept me watching. Yes, it is in Japanese BUT, there are subtitles. I recommend this to all parasite eve and movie fans!"
L. Blalock | Austin, Texas, USA | 02/25/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First let me tell you what this movie is not: It is not based on the games. It is not an action movie. It is not a horror movie. It is not a big budget special effects extravaganza. It is not anime. It isn't really a sci-fi movie either.Now what it is: It is an excellent adaptation of a Japanese suspense/psychological thriller novel with subtitles. It has decent cinematography, excellent soundtrack and fairly good acting (for the most part). The story, while sometimes hard to follow for people unaccustomed to watching subtitled movies might be a little hard to follow at first, but there are only a handful of main characters that you have to keep track of so it isn't impossible.If you aren't a foreign film buff, you might want to rent it, but if you enjoy foreign films (and don't mind subtitles), and Japanese drama/suspense in particular, then this is one you might want to add to your collection. If you are expecting an action packed, special effects laden, guns-a-blazing, people-dying-every-few-seconds movie based on the videogames ... look elsewhere. This isn't for you. This is a movie you have to watch and pay attention to to enjoy, and is probably better suited to adults for a number of reasons, most notably that younger people used to big budget Hollywood productions might find it slow moving and boring. I didn't."
Definately a good buy.
Jacob Miller | Tallahassee, FL United States | 09/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For one, those who are expecting a movie based on the game, stop now. Unless you payed close attention to the game, you will hate this movie. The movie is based off the novel, not the game.
I'm not going to spoil the movie for anyone, however the story is very good, and you will not be left wanting. My only gripe with the story is the ending, which is a tad bit perplexing. The CGI is well done, and not over-used. And the story is one of the saddest, most tear-grabbing, heart-filled movie I have ever seen. You fall in love with the main character and his wife, you feel their pain, and come to understand their actions.
This movie is a defiante buy for anyone who really loved the game, novel, or is a lover of sci-fi/horror movies, especially with a love sub-plot.
And that's that."