• Film ID:
  • 4254
  • Availability:
  • DVD Available from Shop
  • Film cert:
  • Running time:
  • DVD=94 min.
  • Nationality(ies):
  • Japan.
  • Primary Language(s):
  • Japanese.
The moody 28-year-old Mifune is the violent gangster whom boozy doctor Shimura diagnoses as suffering from TB ('a hole in the heart,' says the sour 'angel', ruefully). The movie breathes the polluted air of post-war pessimism, dissipation and poetic fatalism, symbolised in the shots of the oily, malaria-ridden swamp of a Tokyo dockside, but it is dramatically qualified by Mifune's suggested redeemability and Shimura's stoical humanism. Fascinating, highly enjoyable and filled with great scenes - not least the slippery battle to the death in a paint-filled corridor, Kurosawa demonstrates his peerless talent for combining traditional Japanese imagery with hard-hitting contemperary realism. An allegorical film that examines Japan's relationship with Western culture, after WW2, whilst retaining the elements of a skilful thriller.
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