Fantasia 2018: Laplace’s Witch

A geochemistry professor is asked to consult on a murder case in Laplace’s Witch. Within a short period of each other, two individuals are killed of hydrogen sulphide poisoning near a hot spring. This results in geochemistry professor Shusuke Aoe (Sho Sakurai) to be asked by police to consult on the cast. During the investigation, Aoe comes across Madoka Uhara (Suzu Hirose), a self-described witch who is investigating the murders for her own reasons. The investigation leads into a world where the supernatural, the mystical and our reality meet.

Laplace’s Witch is the latest film from director Takashi Miike, with the title of the film referencing the theory of “Laplace’s Demon” by 18th century mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace, involving someone who knows the precise location and momentum of every atom in the universe. In this case, Madoka and her friend, and primary murder suspect, Kento Amakasu (Sôta Fukushi) have psychic abilities as a result of a surgical procedure.

With a career as prolific as Takashi Miike’s, he is almost for certain to come out with some duds and Laplace’s Witch is definitely one of those. With a nearly two hour running time that runs at a snails pace, Laplace’s Witch had great difficultly keeping my attention, with things only truly interesting towards the end. When the plot point that sticks out the most for you is talk about a moon rainbow, or “moonbow,” you know that you aren’t watching one of Takashi Miike’s best.