Gemini (also known as Sōseiji; 双生児) is a 1999 horror film by Shinya Tsukamoto, loosely based on an Edogawa Ranpo story, which pursues his theme of the brutally physical and animalistic side of human beings rearing its ugly head underneath a civilized veneer, present in previous films like Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) and Tokyo Fist (1995), in what is a new territory for Tsukamoto—a story set in the late Meiji era (1868–1912) with no stop-motion photography and no industrial setting.
Tokyo. 1910. Dr. Daitokuji Yukio (Masahiro Motoki), a former military doctor who has taken over a successful practice from his father and treats plague victims, is living a charmed life: he is a respected young doctor with a successful practice and Rin (Ryo), a beautiful wife. His only problem is that she suffers from amnesia, and her past is unknown.
However, things begin to fall apart. Both his parents die suddenly, killed by a mysterious stranger who looks just like him. His relationship with his wife worsens after he chooses to cure the mayor instead of destitute denizens of nearby ghettos. While isolated from his relatives, he one day faces the mysterious stranger who turns out to be his long-lost rejected twin, Sutekichi (again Motoki). Bent on revenge, Sutekichi throws him into the garden's well and takes over his life and his wife.
The final conflict between the two brothers is realized when Yukio, forced into an animalistic existence in the well, reemerges, prompting the fratricidal fight for the love of the same woman, since it turns out (while he takes over Yukio's role) that Rin had actually once been Sutekichi's lover.Masahiro Motoki – Yukio Daitokuji / Sutekichi
Ryo – Rin
Yasutaka Tsutsui – Yukio's father
Shiho Fujimura – Yukio's mother
Akaji Maro – Kakubê
Masako Motai – Shige
Renji Ishibashi – Beggar monk
Tomorowo Taguchi – Middle-aged patient
Tadanobu Asano – Revenger with sword
Naoto Takenaka – Rich man
A behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of Gemini was produced and directed by Takashi Miike. The documentary, titled Tsukamoto Shinya ga Ranpo suru, is 17 minutes long.
Gemini received its official world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in 1999. It was released a few days later in Japan on September 15, 1999 where it was distributed by Toho. It was shown in the United States on November 5, 2000 at the Hawaii Film Festival.
Variety gave the film a generally favourable review, stating that "this strikingly designed thriller is gripping despite a certain heavy-handedness and the director's customarily chaotic narrative approach." The Globe and Mail referred to Gemini as the "Pick of the Day" from its presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival, describing the film as "disconcerting, opaque, energetic, tedious, fascinating and flat-out insane in roughly equal measure" A review in the French film magazine Positif stated that Gemini had an awkward style that would leave viewers unable to get a real sense of fear and that the film had the complexity of a student film or a z-grade series.