💽🟥!!’s review published on Letterboxd:
Death Note goes over so many things that I feel like get passed off as cringe. To be fair, I do think that certain things are trying to be that, mainly the character of Light. When everyone says that Light’s only motivation in this is to “get laid” they’re sort of right. Light doesn’t stick-up for the kid who is actually being targeted in the beginning. He helps Mia, a girl who doesn’t really need his help at all. Even the girl that he is actively trying to get with shuts him down and laughs at him. It’s only then when he gets the Death Note, and uses it to get with Mia. Light’s character in the beginning is a cringey edge lord. He doesn’t like his dad, he cheats in school, and is the exact definition of a white knight. But this works in this Americanized version of Death Note. Light Turner is the type of person who would idolize Light Yagami, only that he actually has the exact same power as him. Light’s motivations do change through out the film to be fair, with his ideas soon turning towards a more logical approach. To get actual justice. He does this with Mia. They take down terrorist, and North Korean generals. They do this because that’s all they know how to do. These are stupid teenagers; they are cringey. That’s how they’re supposed to be. They’re are a duo, a toxic one at that. Mia and Light’s relationship starts out as two stupid horny teens, having power that they don’t know what to do with at first other than to just kill off the bad guys. They become Kira, together. This turns their cute little relationship into something a lot more toxic. Light wants this power to do something good with it, and Mia? Well she just wants it to have the power. She’s the one who develops the god complex that Light Yagami had in the anime and manga. But this doesn’t turn Light into the Misa character. Light Turner is still like Light Yagami. In the end, he uses Mia. Out of his teenage anger and angst.
The relationship Light has with his father is a complicated one. Despite the fact that they do have love and respect for each other, they can’t help but bud heads. What their definitions of good and evil are completely different. Light’s father believes in the system, whatever the courts decide is what the court decides - he’s a cop after all. Light’s mind set is based off his own morals. Light believes that everyone who gets in his way should be taken out. This drives him, and Mia, to hunt down L, and get his real name. But where Light draws the line is at his own father. This is what causes conflict with Light and Mia, but with himself too. Light doesn’t quite know his morals. And what he does know is that he draws the line with his father. His father is the only person he has left. If Light kills his father, he is all alone. But if his father was killed off, he would be the god that he wanted to give to the people. Mia would be the god she wants be. In a way Ryuk is the one that helps Mia get closer to that goal of becoming one. Ryuk is the devil on the shoulder, pushing you to do what your instincts tell you, despite her not being able to see him. The little things that Light tells Mia about him inspires her. Light’s dad follows the system, Light has his own morals, and Mia just wants to be a god.
L’s character is a lot more “violent” than any of the others. L’s character genuinely doesn’t care about the outcome of any of the characters. All he cares about is catching them, and how they’ll react. L knows that Light is Kira less than half way through the movie. All he needs is proof. But what does he have? Nothing. There is really nothing L can do, so when Watari is taken away from him, he becomes what he once thought was distracting. A lot of people find this character shift abrupt and out of character, but really it’s no surprise. What are L’s morals? I can’t really say. L is the most conflicting character here, a lot more mysterious than the rest. Similar to Ryuk, left in the shadows.