Hollywood is slowly moving towards adaptation of some of the famous and classic Japanese anime stories. This year, Ghost in the Shell was a good attempt but ‘Death Note’ by Netflix is certainly not.
The film follows the story of a young high school student from Seattle named Light Turner, who finds a mysterious notebook known as “Death Note”. He meets the terrifying demonic death god Ryuk who teaches him how to use the notebook and tells him that the book is capable of causing the death of anyone the user writes in the book. Light decides to use the book for good intentions only to be found being pursued by an intelligent and skilled detective known as L, who longs to capture Turner for his actions.
The motivation for using the death note is totally different. It feels little silly in this version of Death Note. The thrill of investigation is lost. It is more fast paced and stylized than the original. Also, the writers have tried to fit in the whole story in this single movie. Because of that, the detailing has gone for a toss.
The characters aren’t properly fleshed out. The character of L is made more emotional and human with a little back story which was interesting. The original characterization of L was more weird and intriguing. The original character of Light is more matured and intellectual. His motivation was more justified because of this thinking and his vision of justice. The God of Death Ryuk looks scary and real than the animated one in the Japanese original film.
The director Adam Wingard simply sought to make an action film with a bit of romance thrown in. But in the process forgot that Death Note was never about action. It was about Light and his fight to impose his vision on to the world.
Those who haven’t seen the original Japanese film may like this film because of the concept. But for others who have seen the original two films may find it disappointing.
Directed by: Adam Wingard
Screenplay by: Charles Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides, Jeremy Slater
Based on: Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata
Starring: Nat Wolff, Lakeith Stanfield, Margaret Qualley, Shea Whigham, Paul Nakauchi, Jason Liles, Willem Dafoe