Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Red Beard - Akira Kurosawa

Was not really enjoyed at all. Having liked High and Low so much, I'd perhaps expected this one to be interesting as well.

A doctor is packed off to a remote hospital full of poor people, run by the enigmatic "Red Beard". His initial rebellion against the rules and his situation is gradually turned to acceptance and eventual respect, as he gets to see all manner of life's cruelties. The stories of the patients  form many of the sub plots, if they're anything to go by, I'd say our sexual instincts are the cause of all of human kinds miseries. Much character development happens, although it seemed a rather haphazard growth in all directions.

But I can't say I saw where, if anywhere, the movie was going in 2 hours ( and it didn't help that there was no fan or AC, and it was sweltering hot - a fact that might or might not have a bearing on my response to the movie). However at the end of the 2 hours, when I'd thought that all the sub plots had been fixed, and the momentous realisations made, and I thought the movie was finally closing, I was a little dumb founded to see the word intermission appear.

Apparently its a 4 hour movie. I say apparently, since I could only watch upto the intermission, at which point both my patience and my sweat ran out. Perhaps its meant for a really lazy afternoon, when you have infinite time, patience, and hopefully electricity. I'll leave that for someone else to judge.

And much commiseration with the fellow sufferer A. Note to self - in future check the movie length before venturing into the unknown!


Amit said...

I had an epiphany about this mildly traumatic experience.

Consider this. What if Kurosawa, the cunning master, pulled a few divine strings and ARRANGED for the power cut? As a way to pull the unsuspecting audience into his canvas.
Think about it - what you and the protagonist saw and experienced together. Suffering, misery, claustrophobia, the stifling helplessness. Being in a state of conflict. Whether to linger on and attempt to understand the work of a master. Or to give up and escape to a place more comfortable. I'm on to something big here, no?

Hehe okay, the epiphany has passed. :D This work of art sorely needs an abridged version.

Tess said...

Good to see that the mildly traumatic experiance hasn't killed off your epiphanic abilities.

You're on to something tremendous, and this epiphany has made me realise that i need to limit my movies to the happy joyous ones, set in pleasant weather. No more suffering and misery in movies, if Akira can do it, who knows who else can???

Momentous realisation - must never never ever watch The Towering Inferno. Among others.