This is my favourite Kurosawa film. The director was reported to have been furious at the state of media freedom under the post-WWII US Occupation, and he vents his spleen on it here. The film is a passionate condemnation of gutter press and appears to be partly based on the director's own experiences.
I have to stop myself from the overuse of superlatives when describing this film. The acting is simply some of the best I've seen in any movie. Mifune does his usual good job as the brooding and very serious motorbike-riding painter but, for once, even the great Mifune is outclassed by several other actors.
Yoshiko Yamaguchi shines as the doe-eyed singer, whom a scandal magazine tries to frame as the painter's lover.
Despite not appearing until a third of the way through the film, Takashi Shimura steals every scene from Mifune. He is in top form as the weird and corrupted lawyer, and is a delight to watch.
But even Shimura is outclassed by the young Yoko Katsuragi, playing his daughter, who despite dying of TB is cheerful and a joy to all around her.
Nor does the support cast let them down. A number of great character actors, led by the man who plays the sleazy editor, complete the picture nicely.
I unreservedly recommend this film as a must-see for any film lover.
Famous singer Miyako Saijo, who is publicity shy, and motorbiking artist Ichirô Aoye, who has minor celebrity, meet by chance in Kappazawa while Ichirô is on a painting expedition, and Miyako is on a retreat. As she has missed her bus to Kaminoyu and as Ichirô is heading there anyway, he offers her a ride to the resort where both of them are staying and which is largely empty as it is the off season. As he visits her in her room solely as a measure of friendship and camaraderie, they are unaware that a paparazzo working for scandal sheet Amour has taken a photograph of the two of them together on her balcony. Hori, Amour's publisher, decides to print the photograph along with an accompanying salacious story on what could have happened based on the photograph, but which is a total fabrication. Hori has done such before with other celebrities, never having been sued as he believes his subjects either like the publicity or are too busy or scared to take action. A libel suit he feels will only increase circulation. He is nonetheless surprised when Ichirô does sue, Ichirô's action regardless of what Miyako decides. Ichirô decides to hire as his lawyer Otokichi Hiruta, despite Hiruta coming across as an ambulance chaser and shyster. Ichirô makes this hiring decision after meeting Hiruta's bedridden daughter, Miyako, who suffers from tuberculosis and whose inherent goodness Ichirô believes cannot have come out of anywhere but her parents. The resulting case not only becomes about Ichirô and Miyako's rights and their belief that justice will and should prevail, but also about Hiruta whose person and soul will have to face the consequences of his own actions. —Huggo
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
June 04, 2021 at 09:09 AM