Just when I was about to start thinking I had Akira Kurosawa all figured out, I experience this cinematic gem. When people talk about Kurosawa's work, you mostly hear them lauding his chanbara epic Seven Samurai, the intimate and immaculate poem that is Ikiru. But, right hand to my chest, I think High and Low is the most accomplished work I've seen from him until now. A tour de force in tension-and-release.
70/100 (4,4 ne ya yok artık. Filme bir gıcıklığım olmasa da aldığı bu tuhaf puanlar otomatik antipati yaratıyor. 4 yıldızı istemeyerek veriyoruz. Ki ben vermeyeceğim. Film kötü değil ama senaryosunda saçma yerler var. Sırf bu sayacağım 4 husus bile bu filme 5 yıldız vermemek için çok geçerli sebepler. Alta yazıp sıralıyorum.)
The morality choice at the beginning in the first half is the strongest part but that takes nothing away from the crime thriller in the second half that carefully breaks down the phases to catching the perpetrator. Kurosawa is flawless with his framing and gets the consistent brilliance of the rest of his regular cast as per normal. A small criticism is the ending was unexpectedly more abrupt than I was prepared for.
The movie's great, but the morality is wrong. The police could have arrested the bad guy for the kidnapping, and his little experiment with the woman junkie wouldn't have happened, and she'd still be alive. So they traded her life so they could kill the bad guy. Not the right message. But she's just a junkie ...
This is how 3D should be used in film. The way Kurosawa frames every depth of the shot is constantly impressive and engrossing. The story is not as strong a second time around. The format for the crime-procedural may be predicated on this but its not a perfect iteration of the style. The exposition becomes blunt and irrelevant, overwhelming the meatier social themes and character work.