CURE      (1997)
In "Cure", directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Koji played the role of a police detective, named Kenichi
Takabe.  When the story begins, we are shown that Takabe is quite an efficient man at work but a worried
man at home, as his wife has got some mental problem.  His life starts getting changed after he meets a
young man named Kunihiko Mamiya, who seems to have some power to hyponotize persons such as a
school teacher, a police officer, or a medical doctor to kill his wife, his colleague, or a complete stranger,
respectively by mutilating their throats and chests with slashes of an x.  These people don't deny that they
have murdered them but get puzzled at the reason why.  In the process of pursuing Mamiya, Takabe is also
hypnotized by him and in the end he kills Mamiya to become Mamiya's successor.

The rough story is like this.  Koji's portrayal of Takabe is superb especially after he has become hypnotized
by Mamiya and been cured from all sorts of worldly worries.  We are given the impression that Takabe
might have killed his wife, his collegue and his friend, and has acquired some secret to hypnotize people to
kill anybody if he/she has hatred towards others.

There are three tags for this film: (1) Hatred awakens with hyponosis.
                                            (2) I'll ask you again, OK? Who are you?
                                            (3) It's your turn this time.
Takabe(Yakusho), Sakuma(Ujiki)
and Mamiya (Hagiwara) at a         
police station.
Q: I hear that director Kurosawa asked you to feel more refreshed as the story goes on. Was
Kurosawa's request convincing enough to you?

Yakusho: Yes. I would say that feeling that way, I thought that implications for the film and the sense
of terror would deepen more. After the confrontation with Mamiya in his prison cell, Takabe feels
absolutely refreshed.  As he talks with Mamiya, the cause of his stress becomes clearer and his
potential hatred comes to explode.  As a result, he feels quite pleasant, has got an appetite and sleeps
well.  He has become a very dangerous person but others regard him as a most reliable person in
society, which is actually quite a scary matter. Toward the end of the film, Takabe is no longer
stress-ridden. Although he actually does not kill, he indirectly kills people and he himself does not
notice this. And he has become happy in the end.
Koji Yakusho's comment on Takabe:
Updated on September 6, 2011
In a magazine interview with some critics about "CURE",  Kiyoshi Kurosawa said, "This is a quiz.
How many people do you think Takabe has murdered?"
One critic: I think that he has killed nobody.

Kurosawa: That is surely possible.  He let other people kill them.  I have deliberately  made that point
rather ambiguous. The film is made so that you can appreciate it in any respect. The possibility is
from zero to at most three. Oh, since he has obviously killed Mamiya, the possibility is from one to
four at maximum..... I suggested to Koji Yakusho that it might be difficult, but that he should act as
if Takabe had murdered four people.    

Pymmik's Comment on "CURE" (Japanese)

Kiyoshi Kurosawa says:
"Cure" on DVD will be available in Australia from April 7, 2010.
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