Once Upon a Crime HD Movie HDRIP, Web-DL

Once Upon a Crime Review: Premiering on Netflix on September 14, 2023, Akazukin Tabi no Tochu de Shitai to Deau (ずきん、旅の途中で死体と出会う) is a quirky fantasy mystery Japanese movie which has been adapted from the novel of the same name written by Aoyagi Aito. Basing its main characters in the same world of fairy tales, this modern adaptation reimagines the plot in case a crime were to take place amongst them. It stars Kanna Hashimoto as Little Red Riding Hood, Yuko Araki as Cinderella and Takanori Iwata as Prince Gilbert in lead roles.

Also starring Natsuna, Yumi Wakatsuki, Mirei Kiritani and others, the movie has been directed by Yuichi Fukuda, and written by Fukuda alongside Tetsuo Kamata. It has a runtime of 1 hour and 45 minutes, and is now streaming with English subtitles and dubbed audio for international audiences as well.

Once Upon a Crime Review: Discussion

When you first head in for this movie, don’t carry preconceived notions about it being a parody of fairy tales, because it really isn’t. It only takes on the garb of one to make things more visually attractive and entertaining for us, especially by breathing a new breath of fresh air into such stories that have almost always been powered by their drive for romance. Once Upon a Crime does that too, but for this movie, the archetypical love story is not at the centre of its plot, rather mystery is.

In a major crossover between two popular fairy tales with their own distinct protagonists, this movie brings both Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella onto the same page of the story. The two young charming girls head over to the royal ball in a country that is preoccupied with its obsession of a certain definition of beauty, but in the midst of all that they get entangled into a murder mystery. And now the focus is not so much on the Prince finding his worthy Princess as much as it’s upto Little Red Riding Hood to solve the case.

Kanna Hashimoto steps into the role of an endearing young detective, resembling the one and only Nancy Drew. Not only is she roped into solving the case at hand, she also has a ton of lessons to impart to the questionable society. Although its not really her job to overturn the hierarchy, but she definitely does her bit to nudge people in the right direction.

One of the most interesting aspects of the storyline is that neither of the characters are directly portrayed as heroines or vamps. With a minimal comical touch to the representations of the witch characters, the movie’s initial bits jump into an entirely unserious progression that’ll make you wonder if this is supposed to be a lowly parody of fairy tales. However, it’s not that at all, and I suggest that you stick to it rather than closing the movie window on your screen rightaway.

It takes time for the actual plot to kick in, and once it does, it catches your interest gradually. As soon as the mystery element is set in place, you’ll find yourself getting pulled into the investigation as well as you get to deducing the real killer’s identity. Shattering hypocritical beauty standards, though not necessarily profoundly critiquing them or the society that’s been built into the movie’s world, it mostly stays on as a simple and fun watch, again helping us take a much-needed break from mature over-sexualised content flooding Netflix right now.

This isn’t the first time such a crossover is happening on screen. The Disney Into the Woods musical film has already dealt with this concept before, but both of them have quite disparate things to offer us. There were quite a few instances when I felt that Once Upon a Crime‘s production value made it look more like an elaborate stage play instead of a feature film.

And so, if it were to be exhibited like that to the audience, it would be an impressively attractive affair because the colourful aesthetic of the princess’ attires and other things that have jumped out of the fairytales’ pages don’t always match the same expensive-looking high-scale Disney-esque adaptations, but it all is still worthy enough to allure us.

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