SILENT PARADE (沈黙のパレード) (2022)

Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Director: Hiroshi Nishitani
Cast: Masaharu Fukuyama, Ko Shibasaki, Kazuki Kitamura, Kazuki Iio, Naho Toda, Asuka Kawatoko, Natsuki Deguchi, Hiromasa Taguchi, Jun Murakami
Runtime: 2 hrs 10 mins
Rating: PG
Released By: Encore Films and Golden Village Pictures
Official Website: 

Opening Day: 6 October 2022

Synopsis: Detective Galileo returns to the big screen! The popular mystery series by Keigo Higashino features Masaharu Fukuyama as Professor Manabu Yukawa, a brilliant physicist who helps the police crack unsolved cold cases using his scientific theories and unique methods of deduction. A high school girl that has been missing for several years is discovered -- as a corpse. Detective Utsumi of the Police Investigation Unit identifies the primary suspect as a man previously acquitted of murdering a young girl in a case led by Professor Yukawa's best friend, senior detective Kusanagi. Once again, the suspect maintains his silence and is released due to insufficient evidence. To exacerbate matters, he returns to the high school girl's hometown, creating an air of unease among its residents. And on the day of the summer festival parade, another incident occurs, presenting yet another challenging case for Yukawa, Utsumi and Kusanagi!

Movie Review:

To what extent does a person do to protect their love one? Does it involve murdering or revenge to soften the hurt or hide the wound? This perhaps is the recurring theme of Keigo Higashino’s accomplished works and also the third cinematic adaptation of his Detective Galileo’s novels.

Silent Parade reunites heartthrob Masaharu Fukuyama in the leading role with Ko Shibasaki and Kazuki Kitamura who plays detectives Utsumi and Kusanagi respectively. Hiroshi Nishitani who helmed the first two in the franchise, Suspect X and Midsummer’s Equation also returns to the directing chair.

Expectedly, Yukawa aka Detective Galileo is sought by Utsumi to look into a bizarre case which involved the disappearance and death of a young girl, Saori Namiki. Apparently, the victim has mysteriously disappear from her neighbourhood three years ago and only recently, her remains were found among the ruins of a house fire situated miles away from her home.

The house owner, Hasunuma (Jun Murakami) is subsequently arrested and questioned by Kusanagi. As it turned out, he is the same man who was arrested for a child murder case 15 years ago but was released due to a lack of evidence. Hasunuma once again choses to remain silent which ultimately leads to his release again. With that, the creepy Hasunuma went on to torment the family of Saori who runs a small restaurant in the neighbourhood with his presence until he is mysteriously found dead one day in the small storeroom he rents from his fellow co-worker.

Even without Hercule Poirot’s glorious moustache or Sherlock’s trademark pipe, Yukawa remains a charismatic presence in the series although this time he is mainly dressed in a shirt and a vest. Perhaps the movie is set in the heaty summer of Japan or is it because the case on hand is a mind-blogging affair. Not to worry, Masaharu Fukuyama continues to nail the socially awkward, eccentric physicist to a tee. Slipping comfortably into the role after an absence of nine years, Fukuyama banters passionately with his co-star, Ko Shibasaki although honestly speaking, we need more of their bonkers interaction since Yukawa’s crime solving comes readily equipped with plenty of scientific explanations that instantly drive Utsumi nuts. That’s always the fun part of the series.

Despite playing a promoted detective, Kazuki Kitamura is given a far more emotional role this time round. Kusanagi is a man that struggles to face the family of the deceased after the current police procedural and the judicial system fails to prove the accused’s wrongdoings. Yet, he still believes a proper system is the only option instead of simply taking the law into your hands which brings us to the crux of the movie.

With Yukawa’s somewhat unorthodox experiments, he came to deduce Hasunuma’s death might be linked to several close-knit friends of the Namiki family to no one surprise. That group of people gathering at the restaurant can’t be there simply for the cuisine right? Using the annual Kikuno Story Parade as a disguise, the crime is committed in broad daylight. As to who is the one who meticulously planned the whole charade and whom exactly is the last piece of puzzle? Writer Yasushi Fukuda’s adaptation of Keigo Higashino’s work is serviceable enough to keep the whodunit compelling to the audiences with its seemingly never-ending twist and mystery.

Under Hiroshi Nishitani’s firm directing hands, the story and investigations unfold flawlessly though with little or no fanfare. Questions piled on top of more questions and Silent Parade takes its time to answer every of them. There’s no grandeur in the staging only quiet, subtle chats between the characters with occasional flashbacks insert. With increased scrutiny, much of Yukawa’s interference in this case which to be frank can be replaced by clever forensic findings in reality but let’s not go off the rails here.

Thanks to a dedicated cast and an intricate plotting which explores the failing judicial system, Silent Parade marks a respectable entry to Japan’s answer to Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. Always bear in mind it’s not important how the crime is committed, it’s more about how it is solved.

Movie Rating:

(Silent Parade is a decent sleuthing affair by everyone’s favourite quirky scientist)

Review by Linus Tee


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