Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"I can't afford to hate people. I haven't got that kind of time"

That memorable quote is from Ikiru - an awesome Japanese movie made by acclaimed director Akira Kurosawa. And no doubt this quote being an inspiration for many, the clip from the movie with this quote is available on YouTube. Here is the clip:


The movie - made in 1952 and in Black & White - is a masterpiece. Here is the synopsis of the movie from the Criterion.com website:
Considered by some to be Akira Kurosawa’s greatest achievement, Ikiru presents the director at his most compassionate—affirming life through an exploration of a man’s death. Takashi Shimura portrays Kanji Watanabe, an aging bureaucrat with stomach cancer forced to strip the veneer off his existence and find meaning in his final days. Told in two parts, Ikiru offers Watanabe’s quest in the present, and then through a series of flashbacks. The result is a multifaceted look at a life through a prism of perspectives, resulting in a full portrait of a man who lacked understanding from others in life.
I got to see the movie thanks to Ravichander from whom I borrowed the DVD.

Despite moving very slowly, the movie captures the viewers' imagination by setting up his plight at the beginning and making them ask "What will he do?" for the first two-third of the movie, and then "What did he do?" as the movie switches to flashback mode following the main protagonist's death.

This is probably the first movie of Akira Kurosawa that I have seen, and I am very impressed by his craft. The best illustration of Kurosawa's mastery - in my opinion - is how skillfully he juxtaposes the moment Watanabe realizes what he needs to do to redeem his life, to a birthday party - thereby making it look like the revelers at the party are singing 'happy Birthday to you' to the main protagonist, on his starting to live at that moment!

Here is the Trailer for the movie:


Do check out the movie. Highly recommended!

1 comment:

Ravi said...

I am glad you like the movie. Nice post!