Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
Japan, 1960. Toho Company, Kurosawa Production Co.. Screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, Ryuzo Kikushima, Eijiro Hisaita, Hideo Oguni, Shinobu Hashimoto. Cinematography by Yuzuru Aizawa. Produced by Akira Kurosawa, Tomoyuki Tanaka. Music by Masaru Sato. Production Design by Yoshiro Muraki. Costume Design by Shoji Kurihara. Film Editing by Akira Kurosawa.
Stunning drama by Akira Kurosawa that features Toshirô Mifune giving one of his sharpest performances. The film opens with his marriage to the daughter of his boss, the owner of a wealthy corporation that has dirty involvement with corrupt government contracts. After high-ranking members of the company are arrested in connection with the company’s nefarious dealings, we learn that Mifune is actually the one spilling the beans on his colleagues. He is actually the son of a man who committed suicide in shame over his involvement with these bad guys, and Mifune has infiltrated their family in order to get his revenge. The film’s spare visual style is the opposite of Kurosawa’s raggedy samurai epics, instead dominated by smooth, clean lines and cold, austere rooms as one man fights for the redemption of his soul while everyone else is just desperate to survive. It’s a riveting experience from beginning to end.
The Criterion Collection: #319