Masaki Kobayashi’s mammoth humanist drama is one of the most staggering achievements of Japanese cinema. A raw indictment of its nation’s wartime mentality as well as a personal existential tragedy, Kobayashi’s riveting, gorgeously filmed epic is novelistic cinema at its best.
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Kobayashi's incredible odyssey of how Nakadai struggles to rise above in his wartime positions: Too incredible (as HARA-KIRI) and heartbreaking to describe, but I loved every moment of it as well took me three whole days to watch the entire trilogy.
I can't sum this film up in 420 characters, so I won't try to, my God, words can't describe the power, the emotion, the pain, the sorrow, everything. One of the finest films ever made, possibly Kobayashi's masterpiece. 5+/5
Where to begin? One, it doesn't waste a minute of the 9 1/2 hour running time. Two, it's fucking depressing. Three, it floored me. The Human Condition remains one of the most passionate films ever made. It's raw an powerful, taking a firm stance against authoritarianism wherever it may rear it's ugly head. It's an epic on the grandest scope and an intimate human drama. A film that demands to be seen by everyone.
Humanist spirals into existential oblivion through the end of WWII Japanese Imperialism in Manchuria. All characters very fleshed out and realistic, especially lead who goes from a privileged position to one of abject survival and compromises every moral on the way while still providing inspiration to others around him. Kaji cannot save Chen (first part), Obara (second part), or Terada (third part), unfortunately.
There's a lot to admire here but there's a lot of un-needed exposition, some of the performances are stilted, and the length is a bit excessive. Still, its nice to see a movie that takes its time to develop it themes and thoroughly pull through with them. The potent imaginary and the scope is what makes this movie worth watching.