Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kurosawa's High and Low

Today, we had the screening of Akira Kurosawa's High and Low.

I should say, after watching Ozu and Naruse, coming back to Kurosawa feels akin to hopping onto a speeding train from a stationary platform. The way the camera moves is slick and as expected from Kurosawa.

The movie starts out slow and in the most natural way, gains momentum until the end is nigh. There are times when we reacted verbally to what was happening onscreen. And by principle, I tend to not do that. But this movie was one of the few that managed to get an opinion of the story's happenings while I was watching the movie. Toshiro Mifune is one actor who has always managed to bring in an inexplicable energy into the scene with his mere presence. Whether is it just him standing there, gazing at the scenery before him or speaking animatedly to an extortionist who demands his entire life's savings for the life of his chauffeur's son, Mifune manages to do it with elan.

But in this movie, the most endearing character (or characters, rather!) happen to be the bunch of police officers who go through such extreme situations just to nab their man. It was one of those times when I laughed while at the edge of my seat! Little tidbits of humor that never offsets the pace of the story are things that are a rarity in movies that are made where I come from!

Many of us felt the ending was a little abrupt. Just envy could drive a man to such measures was something many of us could not comprehend. But I feel the ending is perfect. The way the kidnapper seems to try in maintaining a facade of arrogance and nonchalance in front of the man he hoped to destroy was probably the only way one could've ended this movie.

P.S. Sensei was really happy that we were trying our best in reading the kanji credits that was displayed before the movie! Too bad we did a really horrid job at that! :P

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