Secrets and lies equal engaging mystery

Secrets and lies equal engaging mystery
Midsummer's Equation starring Masaharu Fukuyama (left) and Hikaru Yamazaki.

Review Crime mystery

Midsummer's Equation (PG)

128 minutes/Opens tomorrow / ***½

The story: The brilliant physicist Manabu Yukawa (Masaharu Fukuyama) goes to the seaside town of Harigaura to attend a seabed mining plan debate.

He stays at an inn and strikes up an unlikely friendship with a little boy Kyohei (Hikaru Yamazaki), who later helps him with the suspicious death of another lodger, retired cop Tsukahara (Sansei Shiomi).

A vocal opponent to the mining plan is Narumi (Anne), Kyohei's cousin and daughter of the inn's owners, Setsuko (Jun Fubuki) and Shigeharu Kawahata (Gin Maeda). By the end of summer, everybody's lives would have changed irrevocably.

Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by author Keigo Higashino.

The character of Manabu Yukawa, also known as detective Galileo, is a one-man pop culture cottage industry in Japan.

The books by mystery writer Keigo Higashino are bestsellers and they are the basis of a hit TV series in 2007, and a second season this year. On the big screen, there was the excellent Suspect X (2008).

So Midsummer's Equation is a long-awaited follow-up film outing.

As with Suspect X, there is a central murder mystery set up. But what distinguishes the films are the fact that they are not just interested in the "how", but the "why".

Director Hiroshi Nishitani has once again delivered a puzzler that engages the mind and moves the heart.

Central to the stories is the coolly brilliant Yukawa (Fukuyama), whose unflappable nature and rational thinking make him great at deductive reasoning.

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