'The Journalist' Review: Netflix's Japanese thriller is a slow, yet intriguing watch
The series gives you enough pieces of the puzzle to put together as the plot progresses
'The Journalist' tells the story of Anna Matsuda (Ryôko Yonekura), who is relentless in her pursuit for justice. Her brother, a whistleblower, ends up comatose, after trying to expose his company and its head, Todo Toyoda, for embezzling 10 billion yen from the government. While she tries her best to bring him to justice, another scandal unfolds, exposing just how corrupt the government is.
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With the Prime Minister and his wife embroiled in land subsidiaries regarding a private project, the finance bureau finds themselves in a tough spot. They are instructed to fabricate the documents to hide Prime Minister and his wife's association with the project. One of the employees tasked with this, Suzuki Kazuya (Hidetaka Yoshioka), understand that it is morally wrong and records the entire process. He eventually commits suicide due to the pressure of the situation, as everyone around him is forced to take the fall. The data he collected is handed over to Matsuda by his wife, who is seeking justice. While uncovering his case, Matsuda realises that the people involved not only knew her brother but were also aware of the scandal he was trying to blow open. She is eventually successful in bringing light to the Enshin scandal, which later goes to court.
Moreover, she also manages to get crucial information on the case her brother was working on, allowing her to bring the people who ruined his life to justice finally.
Although 'The Journalist' isn't a 'fast watch', gives you enough information to piece together the puzzle on your own. Ryôko Yonekura plays the role of a steadfast Matsuda, who has been long hardened by her career to the T. Gô Ayano part as Murakami is undoubtedly a highlight, as his transition from a cold bureaucratic to a man just wanting to do the right thing is fascinating to watch. The scene where he breaks down in the Information Investigation Office is particularly telling, as it visually signifies him trying desperately to break free from the mould. If you're looking for more international titles to check out, 'The Journalist' is a good place to start.
'The Journalist' premieres on January 13th, 2022 on Netflix.