The title of EVIL DOES NOT EXIST initially implies a sense of virtue, an optimistic hope that the world isn’t as fatally flawed as our experience would make us believe, but Ryusuke Hamaguchi slowly and surely maps out the different layers of the local community that are a microcosm of our larger society.
FOE feels lethargic rather than slow-burn, a throwback rather than progressive and misjudged in too many key aspects, and its disservice to Ronan and Mescal is unfortunate. It’s left to the audience to determine who the foe of the title might be, but on the evidence presented, the strongest candidate would seem to be the script.
SHORTCOMINGS is a title that almost invites criticism, but this easygoing look at relationship difficulties has more strengths than weaknesses. It doesn’t default to feelgood safety, and has flawed characters that don’t undergo magic transformations.