The Daily Evergreen

‘Death Note’ a major cinematic disappointment

Netflix’s original film of the popular anime fell short in most areas

BRIANNI HENDERSON, Evergreen columnist

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Netflix’s film adaption of the anime series “Death Note” did little to entertain and instead give the audience a condensed plot with horrendous pacing – a mere shadow of the potential masterpiece of the movie that could have been.

“Death Note” brings the premise of a god of death’s notebook that can kill a person when their name is written in it. The film starts with the god of death, Ryuk, dropping his notebook in the general vicinity of Light Turner. He then proceeds to pick it up and, with some persuasion from Ryuk, uses it to kill a bully he had standing problems with. From then on he uses the notebook to kill everyone that is what he considers a menace to society, under the moniker “Kira.” L, a genius detective prodigy, is in pursuit to stop him.

The film had everything it needed to make it universally appealing and fit a large concept in a two-hour movie. But they sacrificed key components of the characters’ personalities and motives to condense the film.

In the film they portray Light, played by Nat Wolff, to be this scared little kid who is easily influenced by those in his general vicinity. However, in the anime he is cunning, desensitized to people’s feelings and had a serious god complex. This complex is what compels him to try and fix what is wrong with the world, killing all the people he deems morally wrong even if it means that he has to harm the people closest to him.

The character L, played by Lakeith Stanfield, was the most disappointing character of the entire film. The film portrayed him as a whining cry baby who cannot handle real life situations without his beloved caretaker, Watari. When Watari was in trouble, L ended up having an emotional breakdown, using police resources and breaking into the room of a dead girl to find information regarding the death of a loved one. He was easily broken and unnerved, unlike the character you seen portrayed in the anime.

The film was a disappointment to begin with and ended as Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press said, “as a twisted love affair with shades of ‘Macbeth.’ ” The movie’s dependence on gore to compensate for the lack of character building and rushed plot put this film in a bad place, losing the audience in the process. The one saving grace was Ryuk, voiced by Willem Dafoe, bringing the character to life with his chilling voice.

Brianni Henderson is a freshman biochemistry major from Everett. She can be contacted at [email protected]