02 July 2010
Let's not talk about this movie.
So basically: There's this guy, Kanji, and he's just been going through life all empty and with no ambition or anything to show for anything. Then, he goes to see the doctor and finds out he's dying from stomach cancer. This starts off a chain of events where Kanji is searching for a meaning to his life, a purpose. It's a classic tale of Carpe Diem. He spends a night with an author out in the city and then meets up with a coworker the next day. These two hit it off, but he doesn't want to get involved because of his illness. Eventually he sees that in order to have meaning in his life he must get a park built. This is the same park the government, who he works for, is trying to prevent from being built. Before he makes much progress and with forty-odd minutes left of the film, Kanji passes away. The rest of the film takes place at his funeral with his colleges talking about him and how he had changed the last few months of his life. The movie ends with his colleagues completing his legacy and building the park.
This was painful to watch. First off, it was incredibly difficult to get my hands on a copy and when I finally did, the audio and the subs were both WAY off! This might put me at a bit of a bias, but it should be countered by my love of other Kurosawa films. This one, however, fell short of expectations. The plot itself didn't interest me, but I thought since it was a Kurosawa film, it HAS to be good. I was wrong. It wasn't that great. It might, in part, have to do with the times I live in. Maybe back in the fifties the plot of someone walking through life as a zombie until an incident happens where the main character tries to find meaning or change his ways was something of a new thing, but now it's a predictable plot. Personally I didn't find it that interesting.
This film fails to live up to the reputation Kurosawa has earned and does not deserve to have the "prestige" of a top movie.
Ziggi seal of disapproval!