Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Akira's High and Low

One of the best films I ever saw.What has made this one stand in my memory even after 2-3 years of watching it?    I will come to that in a while.As for how we saw it...we actually took this movie to watch with a couple of friends after dinner.And needless to say,the pace of the movie was so riveting that at one point,all of us were reluctant to take a well needed break even to go to the loo.I have fond memories of this film.I have never seen such a movie as this and nor do I hope to find such a complex portrayal of human emotions intermingled with the thin lines of conscience....of right or wrong...

Whatever I write here,it can never do justice to the artful mastery with which the director Akira Kurosawa proceeds to narrate the story.Still I would attempt to record my memories for my later recollection.The story is pretty simple.
Well...would'nt you say that all great masterpieces are the artful telling of simple tales? So here goes....This is the story of a wealthy industrialist,Gondo. Gondo is contacted by a group of kidnappers,who inform him that his son has been kidnapped.They demand that he pay a ransom...an amount so high that it will leave him bankrupt.Gondo prepares to pay the ransom,when he finds out that his son is safely home and it is his driver's son who was kidnapped by mistake.So what does he do...Should he still pay the ransom to save a life or just ignore the kidnappers as it is no longer his son's life on the line.Further,he faces a financial crunch,due to which his decision will have a huge impact on his business and life.
How he struggles with his conscience,each time after talking to the kidnapper,the decision that he makes,the reactions of everyone around him...all these are so beautifully portrayed.The actor Toshiro Mifune,who plays this character is at his best and conveys all the struggles of the complex character,most astutely.
The reason for this name" HIGH AND LOW" though is because,of the vast difference being portrayed between the have's beng Gondo and his family and the have-nots being that of the driver and his family.
I will not spill the beans and give any spoilers here.In fact the full story is there in Wikipedia to check out.So if you ever get your hands on this one...it is a must see....

Further film details:It is a 1962 film by the japanese name "Tengoku to jigoku",directed by Akira kurosawa,written by Ryuzo Kikushima, Hideo Oguni, Akira Kurosawa.

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