The movie Suspect X is a TV adaptation of the novel The Devotion of Suspect X written by Keigo Higashino. The film is about a genius mathematician who works as a school teacher (Suspect X). Its plot is built around the crime that involves all the main characters. Moreover, it is about love that leads to pain and suffering and ends in an exceptionally tragic outcome. This movie is a dramatic, dystopian story because the main character struggles and abandons everything he has, yet he does not get to be happy after all.
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Another central character of the film is the mathematician’s neighbor, a young woman who lives with her niece in an adjacent apartment. At the beginning of the movie, the woman’s ex-husband breaks into her flat. He screams and scolds her, bugging her niece when she comes back home. Then he tries to rape the woman, and in the act of resistance, she kills him with the help of her niece. The mathematician hears the screaming and comes to see whether everything is alright. Then he finds out about the murder and offers his support, and the woman accepts it (Suspect X). That is the beginning of the relationship between the mathematician and the woman. This relationship develops while they are trying to conceal the murder and remain innocent and free. Here starts the story about love that leads to pain and suffering and ends in an exceptionally dramatic outcome.
Meanwhile, two detectives from the police department investigate this case. They find an uglified body of the woman’s murdered ex-husband near the river, and she immediately becomes their primary suspect. They come to her apartment asking questions about the victim, but she and her niece follow the instructions given by the mathematician, and the detectives go empty-handed. The detectives do various examinations, but even the polygraph cannot prove the woman’s guilt. Everyone in the police department is sure that she is innocent, but one detective cannot believe it and accept it (Suspect X). He is optimistic that the woman is a murderer, although everyone around him tries to assure him to give up this idea and seek a new suspect.
In addition, the incredulous detective happens to be an old acquaintance of the mathematician. They often spend time together and communicate, which allows the teacher to monitor the course of the investigation. Yet, it is also why the detective starts to notice odd things that prove the guilt of the woman and the fact that the teacher has helped her (Suspect X). Still, there is no legal evidence to allow the detective to charge them both with the murder.
The following events reveal the true intentions of the mathematician – he has been in love with his neighbor since the first day they met each other. That is why he has set everything so that the investigation concludes that the real murderer is him. He confesses to the police and is ready to go to jail for his crime (Suspect X). Thus, there starts the genuine drama of the entire movie.
Suspect X illustrates a hardboiled and subtextual story of a man who could not find a purpose in his life and therefore did not have reasons to live until he met a woman. The dramatic essence of the movie lies in the unfairness that follows the main character. First, he has to commit a crime to protect the woman he loves. He feels responsible for doing it as he cannot let his loved one answer for her crimes and go to jail. Then, he is forced to deal with her ingratitude, which is perfectly reasonable due to the recent event in her life. She thinks that his actions are caused by an instinctive animal desire, which is not valid. Finally, he decides to embrace his fate and take the blame instead of her, so she could be happy and forget about these events. There is a man who cares about her, and the mathematician factually entrusts her to him, showing his dignity (Suspect X). Thus, this movie is a perfect example of a dramatic situation, which can only end with a single possible outcome.
For the reasons mentioned above, this movie is not a simple detective story about an excellently planned crime and further solving it. This story tells about how love can turn the willingness to die into the desire to live and about the readiness to do whatever it takes for that love (Suspect X). This movie illustrates how love can make a man abandon his life for the sake of another person’s happiness.
The primary feature of the movie is the complex and entangled personality of the main character. According to Vranic & Vranic (2019), if an actor has several pattern roles, it “makes their personality layered and consequently rich in the dramatic sense” (p. 4). The mathematician’s roles are plural indeed: first, he is a genius in his field, but he works as a school teacher and has to deal with the ignorance of his students. They do not value mathematics and do not want to study (Suspect X). Another role of the main character is a man in love who suffers the consequences of his feelings: he breaks the law by murdering a person and helping to conceal another murder. Finally, he is destined to stay in prison for the crime he did not want to commit. The mathematician sacrifices his happiness for the woman because, from his point of view, without that woman, he would never be happy anyway.
Everything mentioned above describes Suspect X as a movie that can significantly impact the minds and thoughts of its watchers. Bioglio & Pensa (2017) claim that dramatic films are much more influential than other genres. The movie under discussion is an excellent explanation for that statement. Anyone who watches it will have much to think of since it illustrates an exceptional dilemma involving life and death issues. The movie’s main character represents a hero who does everything in his power, abandons everything he has, and does not ask for anything in return. Such actions can indeed significantly influence, though it is highly doubtful that heroes of that type exist in the real world.
Summing up, Suspect X is an extremely dramatic story about love and its consequences. The mathematician, the film’s main character, struggles to ensure the woman’s safety who gave reason to his life. He is willing to do everything to make her safe and happy, even neglecting his own life. He has to play several roles, and every single one of them involves much pain and effort. The film characters have to make many hard choices and difficult decisions, yet it is impossible for them to be happy. The mathematician cannot be with the woman he loves. The woman cannot calmly live a life that was gifted to her at the price of another person’s life. The detective cannot save the mathematician and punish the real culprit. Though all of them cannot get fully satisfied, there is no other outcome variation due to the circumstances of their lives.
Bioglio, L., & Pensa, R. G. (2017). Is this movie a milestone? Identification of the most influential movies in the history of cinema. In International Conference on Complex Networks and their Applications (pp. 921-934). Springer, Cham.
Suspect X. Directed by Bang Eun-jin, CJ Entertainment, 2012.
Vranić, V., & Vranić, A. (2019). Drama patterns: extracting and reusing the essence of drama. In Proceedings of the 24th European Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (pp. 1-9).