Apr 28, 2016

    Unkillable teacher an inspirational hit


    Action sci-fi/118 minutes/Opens today

    Rating: 3.5/5

    The story:

    A seemingly indestructible octopus-like creature comes to the no-hope class 3-E of Kunugigaoka Junior High School.

    The assignment is for the students to assassinate him before graduation, failing which earth will be destroyed.

    The creature is nicknamed UT (Kazunari Ninomiya), for Unkillable Teacher. It is up to quiet Nagisa Shiota (Ryosuke Yamada), cool trouble-maker Karuma Akabane (Masaki Suda) and nursing-a-secret Kaeda Kayano (Maika Yamamoto) to bring UT down.

    This is an adaptation of Yusei Matsui's hit manga of the same name.

    EDUCATION and murder are most unlikely bedfellows, though they went together like a compelling nightmare in the action thriller Battle Royale (2000).

    Assassination Classroom deals with similar themes, albeit with a far more light-hearted approach.

    For starters, UT's head comprises an unchanging yellow smiley emoticon, even when he is giving instructions to teenagers to kill him.

    Part 1 did not venture far beyond this absurdist set-up - frankly, it seemed that an anime adaptation would make more sense (there was one last year) for such an out-there story.

    Things improve in Part 2. The tone is still light and we get to see how adorable UT can be as he dresses up as a dog and then as a peach in a class drama production.

    More importantly, we get to see the man beneath the tentacled, jolly exterior that is UT.

    Also explained - the reason UT took up the position of homeroom teacher for class 3-E in the first place. It certainly gives a fresh spin to the genre of rah-rah, you-can-do-better education dramas.

    For all his unorthodox methods and appearance, and the constant spectre of death and destruction that surrounds him, UT forges a strong bond with his written-off charges and becomes, against all odds, an inspiring teacher.