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Death Note: Past vs. Present

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Tomatometer- Rotten 41%

Audience Score- 25%

(Editor’s Note: Death Note the movie is R rated)

The fan favorite anime show known as “Death Note” has recently become one of Netflix’s hit original movies. However, fans of the classic anime show are displeased with this version because of the misuse of characters and the white-washing that has occurred with the casting.

The film version of Death Note brings up the moral question of “if you had the chance to kill bad people would you do it?” The main character of this re-telling is Light Turner (Nat Wolff), a high school student, who discovers a notebook that has the power to kill anyone whose name he writes in it. Ryuk (Willem Dafoe) is a death god and owner of the Death Note, who entices Light to use it. Light launches a crusade to rid the world of criminals, but a secretive detective known as L (Lakeith Stanfield) pursues Light.

This take on the original plot leaves out (or adds in) crucial points that make it very different from the anime. Light and L are seen more as equal matches and much more manipulative in the anime while the film glances over this key subject that makes it so interesting. A major add-in on the plot was the character of Mia (Margaret Qualley) who plays Light’s obsessive girlfriend. Mia appears in the anime, but has a way less crucial role than what she was given in the film.

Another major problem that fans had with the film was the whitewashing of the characters. We have seen other examples of this where Japanese culture has been Americanized. One example in particular is the film Ghost in the Shell. Another classic anime that story was ruined by it changing the cultural style of the film. Fans are obviously disappointed with the last few retelling of these stories, so why do movie producers and directors continue to change them?

All in all the screenplay, Death Note, is an interesting film for those who have not been introduced to the manga series. But utterly disappointing for those who love the original anime.

(Editor’s Note: Death Note the movie is R rated)

 

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