REVIEW: The Snow White Murder Case (2014)

A popular beautiful, female employee is found dead, and accusations quickly trend on Twitter.


By Jason Yu
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The Snow White Murder Case

Original Title: 白ゆき姫殺人事件
Year: 2014
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Genres: Mystery, Crime
Director: Nakamura Yoshihiro

The case seemed so clear-cut and simple at first.

When the young, beautiful Noriko (Nanao) is found brutally murdered in a forest, an investigation is immediately launched to find the killer. Suspicion quickly falls onto Miki (Inoue Mao), a plain woman who was Noriko’s co-worker.

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But as with all good murder mysteries, the case is not as straight-forward as it looks.

A TV staffer who spends much of his time on Twitter and updating his food blog, Akahoshi (Ayano Go) is one of the main investigators of the case. He is tipped off by his university friend, Risako (Renbutsu Misako), who worked with the victim. Seeing that the murder could be the big scoop he needs to jump start his reporting career, he decides to take matters into his own hands.

During his investigation, he slowly uncovers a more complex, twisted story. In a classic he-said-she-said case, he soon realizes the many testimonies from Noriko’s co-workers not only conflict with one another, but are also filled with numerous lies. It is intriguing to see how colleagues and co-workers perceive the same person and recount their experience in a totally different manner.

The Snow White Murder Case

Inoue Mao (furthest from the right — in front) and Nanao (furthest from the left) star in the movie.

From these lies, he pieces together the evidence and is soon shocked to find the eventual truth. The film will make you quickly shift your empathy from one person to another as the story unfolds.

The movie touches upon many modern-day aspects in life, social media being one of them. It’s a cautionary tale about the destructive power of social media in our lives today. Throughout the film, there is a heavy emphasis on Twitter, as people can tweet their opinion to anyone at anytime. And boy do they express their opinions right away.

When a murder is discovered, accusations are thrown in all directions.

When a murder is discovered, accusations are thrown in all directions.

In the beginning of the investigation, Twitter users and tabloid TV viewers already pass judgment: Miki is guilty. Fortunately, cases are not solely decided on frivolous Tweets. The movie pokes fun of people who are quick to judge online without fearing any repercussions. It also shows just how powerful social media is and what you say online can instantly backfire in an instant.

Another aspect of the film is an old adage that first impressions can be misleading and appearances can be deceiving. People look only on the outside and fail to see what’s inside. In many cases, attractive people are portrayed as souls that could do no wrong.

The cutthroat workplace within women in Japanese corporate is also shown. The ugly path to stepping on others to get promoted and gain favor among bosses and co-workers is shown. Jealously, rage, and bitterness came out among the salary women.

Ayano Go (left) interviews Noriko’s co-workers to uncover the crime.

Ayano Go (left) interviews Noriko’s co-workers to uncover the crime.

It’s quite rare for a crime thriller that hit on so many aspects with such aplomb. So it’s safe to say the Snow White Murder Case is one of the most thought-provoking, engaging crime thrillers this year.


Watch this film…

…if you feel the need for a refreshing, multi-layered murder-mystery story.


About the Author

Jason Yu

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Jason is all about Asian films, as he especially likes the horror, thriller, crime, and war genres. For some odd reason, he likes bad movies too. When he's not watching Asian movies, he's playing video games or working in the Korean music industry as media in Seoul, Korea. If you're interested in Korean music, check out his other site at Popsori.