The Outsider (Gaijin), starring Jared Leto, is the latest addition to those Netflix Originals that was slammed by most of the critics and yet turned out to be an enjoyable watch for me. This Netflix Original tries to experiment with the less talk and more acting type of storytelling which is not often seen in the genre of crime thrillers. For an out and out Jared Leto movie, The Outsider is more than 70% Japanese .
The movie follows the story of an American soldier imprisoned in post-war Japan who enters the Japanese Mob Family, Yakuza after befriending one of them while in prison. The support cast of Tadanobu Asano, Kippei Shîna and Shioli Kutsuna are amazing throughout but no gaze goes past the intensity of Nick Lowell, portrayed by Jared Leto. The intensity and honestly he brings to his character is beyond words. The story telling style and the exhaustive usage of Japanese in the movie makes it difficult to convert ‘The Outsider’ into a fast paced thriller that it could have been.
The way the movie ended was a bit anticlimactic and was open ended, probably with the intention of bringing out a part 2. I would go with the title ‘The Insider’ for part two though. I would recommend this movie to anybody who is a fan of Jared Leto and likes slow-burn crime drama’s. Do not expect any classic dialogues as the dialogues itself are few and far between.
From the wife: Jared Leto has always been an intense actor. I feel he has done justice to the role. He has perfected the expression for pain, rage and dark amusement. You cannot help but feel sorry for the character even though some part of you is telling you that the character is part of local mob and does not deserve your sympathy. Watch it for Jared Leto and his incredible performance.