Think The Sting, but in Japanese. Actually, this is less about setting someone up to get busted and more about letting them trip themselves up.After the opening report on the situation of tax evasions in Japan, we’re introduced to a bigwig evader, given several examples (during several seasons) of the way he works his operations, and then we’re given the taxing woman (with a perpetual cowlick), who over the course of time is promoted to an investigator, and when she’s donated a tip-off about the bigwig evader who had eluded her grasp previously, she jumps on the case. Writer/director Juzo Itami proves to be very knowledgeable on the subject matter concerned in his film, and shows that he takes the task of being punctilious very seriously. However, with A Taxing Woman, Itami often overdoes the “punctility” and foregoes with parergies; for once, it feels as though too many movies have tried to be squeezed into one, at least with the elongated time frame provided. I know that my general criticism with mysteries or movies of this sort is that the one case solved was not enough, but because Itami is so detailed and because he leisurely paces himself, he’s got several films to direct within one, and it is desperately need of a break here and there. And one of the things that makes it worse is Onezo Maeda’s ugly color cinematography, far too overexposed and soaked in bleeding tones, making you want to close your eyes or look away.
With Nobuko Miyamoto and Tsutomu Yamazaki.[Worth-seeing.]