Noah Thompson’s review published on Letterboxd:
You humans are so interesting." - Ryuk
It's not that often that my opinion on a film does essentially a complete 180 upon a second viewing. But, here we are.
Let me re-state some of the positives from my past review.
Adam Wingard is a stellar director. When it comes to how the film looks and sounds, he is on point. The cinematography, editing, lighting and soundtrack are all amazing.
I've watched both the chase sequence between L and Light and the ending a good amount of times on YouTube on their own. (Both are now legitimate candidates for my favorite scenes of the year. The chase is incredibly well-shot and edited. The ending as well as the credits boast the perfect song to play alongside them.)
Lakeith Stanfield as L and Willem Dafoe as Ryuk are absolutely fantastic. I loved upon the second viewing watching the deconstruction of L's psyche, going from the quiet and confident to just flat-out broken morality-wise. It's character-development done right.
Nat Wolff as Light is kinda growing on me. My main problem I had with him upon my first viewing was that he was an annoying, emo moron instead of the moreso cold, calculating genius Light Yagami I've heard so much about.
...But that's the point.
This is not Light Yagami. This is Light Turner. In an interview with Adam Wingard, he talked about how he wanted to "re-contextualize" the story for an american audience. In that case, job well done.
I kinda like to look at it as if a fan of Death Note got their hands on the thing. Or if an edgy, introverted outcast were given its power. Lord knows we have plenty of those right now. It actually leads into a conversation about justice and morality that has major relevance currently.
And even then, we do get that eventual turn by the end of the film. By the time the credits roll, Light reveals himself to actually be that intellectual I'm sure a lot of people were waiting for.
I think put simply, what I like so much about Death Note is that it's different. It takes risks and artistic liberties with its adaptation, and unlike so many others that took this route, (looking at you, Dragon Ball: Evolution) it actually works.
I probably did a shitty job explaining. If you want to see it explained better, I suggest reading my friend Perry's review (https://boxd.it/jDmKJ) as well as nathaxnne walker's review (https://boxd.it/jAc8f). Perry was the one who convinced me to watch it again in the first place.
If you didn't like it on your first go, try it again. Open your mind. There's honestly something great here.
(Also, I've been looping Air Supply's The Power Of Love for a few days now. Someone help me.)
We're heading for something
Somewhere I've never been
Sometimes I am frightened
But I'm ready to learn
Of the power of love