Saturday, 22 March 2008

Movie Reviews - High and Low, Ikiru

High and Low

A Kurosawa movie about a kidnapping. One of his modern non period movies.

The kidnapper gets the wrong boy. Takes the chauffeur's son instead of the rich man's. Rich dad has to decide whether he should pay for the release of his chauffeur's son.

The second half of the movie is made up of mostly a police investigation tracking down the kidnapper and seems to be more suspense filled compared to the first half that deals with family emotional turmoil. Not Kurosawa's best movie but still interesting enough.


Another Kurosawa flick. An aging bureaucrat finds out he's dying and comes to term with his death.
A few scenes in this movie make it better than Kurosawa's other flicks. The scene towards the start where a group of women are shunted between different departments passing the buck is classic, hilarious and really portrays the worthlessness of bureaucracies.

Another good scene is in the hospital also towards the start where the main character upon listening to another patient talk about cancer and death, realises he has the same symptoms and may in fact be dying.

This movie nears a resemblance to Kurosawa's High and Low in that it also consists of two halves. The first half in this movie is spent by the main character coming to terms with death, first by trying to live the life he hadn't all these boring years and the when understanding the secret to life, resolves to spend his last 6 months on earth doing one last thing that would make him proud of himself.

The second half is more of a series of flashbacks by the main character's colleagues and relatives, as they, at his remembrance service, try to understand why he spent the last 6 months of his life living so differently (none of them knew he was dying).

The closing scene of the movie is also memorable . A man sitting on a swing in the snow, spending his last few seconds singing with a sense of accomplishment and happiness.

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