#Film Review: Netflix’s Death Note (2017)

Director: Adam Wingard

Rating: 4/5

If I knew I would end up writing film and series reviews on my blog when I first started it, perhaps I would have considered naming it “blog of a sci-fi nerd” or something like that. I surely like sci-fi, and I clearly liked this film.

In this film, we meet Light (Nat Wolff) who gets a book called death note. As the demon that soon appears explains to him, it is sufficient to write person’s name and think of their face while writing it, and the person will die. Nevertheless, Light can even choose how they die.

Light tries it with a high school bully, and he gets decapitated immediately as Light wrote in the book. He quickly introduces the book to the girl he likes and they decide to use the book to change the world. Thus, they start killing murderers, kidnappers, and other criminals to make the world a better place. Light names himself Kira and creates an image of a God. He even says that people need God and hope, and that this is what they will get from Kira.

This film played with the use of demonic power for greater good, which is an interesting and novel concept. However, the film also has an interesting religious implication because Kira’s work start making people behave better and avoid crime in fear of Kira. This notion directly challenges the notion of free will that God has given us to act as we like it, as advocated by rabbi Harold Kushner (see here).

However, things do not go exactly as planned because Police and the FBI get interested in someone who has killed 400 people and start an investigation. To make things more complicated, local head of the investigation team trying to find Kira is Light’s father James (Shea Whigham).

The investigation naturally causes mixed feelings among the population for many support Kira in his quest to make the world a better place. In addition, the demon is also not there to help the world but simply to kill. Light’s girlfriend Mia (Margaret Qualley) is also not keen only to help the world but exercise the power too, which ultimately brings to the situation she has to choose between the book and Light.

In summary, the film has an interesting premise, lots of unpredictable events and developments, and also lots of action when the most efficient detective called L (Lakeith Stansfield) starts chasing Kira. Overall: refreshing film worth watching.

Thank you for reading.

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