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Ikiru - Criterion Collection (1952)

Art House & International and Classics movie

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If You Have Patience You Will Enjoy This

  • Oct 9, 2007
I was lucky enough to catch Ikiru on one of my calm I wanna watch a slow movie days. Usually I'm bouncing off the walls and watching a crazy action flick. I can certainly understand that this might not be a movie for everyone because it can be a little slow and quiet. So if slow and quiet isn't your style then you may not want to pick this up. This being a Kurosawa film it will definitely draw some attention and trust me it is worthy of his direction. Kanji Watanabe (Takashi Shimura) is a middle-aged man who has been living a dull meaningless life. He has worked the same job for years and has to come home to a son who just seems to be waiting for him to die. Kanji finds out that he has stomach cancer and is told that he has less than a year to live.

This strikes something in his mind, that he needs to start living instead doing the same things everyday. Because of this disease Kanji tries to live life as if he were young and full of life. He even tries to drink his sorrows away while explaining his newfound sickness. Kanji meets a young girl who he admires because of her youth and joy. Because of her she inspires him to do something big before he dies. He sets his sights on building the community and fixes up old broken down playgrounds among other things. He does what he can and lives right down to his very last minute.

Ikiru has good quality coming from all elements of a good film not just one thing. Even the old black and white picture adds some emotion to the film. The story itself is timeless and is one that may appear to many people in their life. I think what really gives this film that extra something is the acting from Takashi Shimura who made this character very realistic. He had a look on his face for the entire film that showed pain and his age and fear of his future. His face looked as if death was sitting right next to him waiting for him to fold up and stop living before he even died. There was never a time where you forgot that he was this character. As I said earlier the films black and white picture added a lot to the films feeling it wanted to give you and when you watch it you'll understand. I saw no flaws in Ikiru and it is definitely a must see especially if you love the work of Takashi Shimura and Akira Kurosawa.

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September 05, 2010
This was one of my faves from Kurosawa! Nice review!
September 07, 2010
thanks pakman, no doubt this was a truly great film. Something to learn from and enjoy
September 07, 2010
I featured this review in the community, bud.
About the reviewer
Keith A Jones ()
Ranked #135
Member Since: Aug 15, 2010
Last Login: Sep 9, 2013 04:22 PM UTC
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About this movie


Blessed with timeless humanity, grace, and heartbreaking compassion,Ikiruis one of the most moving dramas in the history of film. Legendary director Akira Kurosawa is best remembered for his samurai epics, but this contemporary masterpiece ranks among his greatest achievements, matched in every respect by the finest performance of Takashi Shimura's celebrated career. Shimura, who nobly led theSeven Samuraitwo years later, is sublimely perfect as a melancholy civil servant who, upon learning that he has terminal cancer, realizes he has nothing to show for his dreary, unsatisfying life. He seeks solace in nightlife and family, to no avail, until a simple inspiration leads him to a final, enduring act of public generosity. Expressing his own thoughts about death and the universal desire for a meaningful existence, Kurosawa infuses this drama with social conscience and deep, personal conviction, arriving at a conclusion that is emotionally overwhelming and simply unforgettable.--Jeff Shannon
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Genre: Classics
DVD Release Date: January 6, 2004
Runtime: 143 minutes
Studio: Criterion
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