Thursday, December 28, 2006


It isn't easy hating evil

By Edward Copeland
Finally, I got to see a good copy of Akira Kurosawa's The Bad Sleep Well thanks to the Criterion DVD version. A long time ago I had attempted to watch it on the previously released and atrocious DVD version which contained some of the worst subtitle translations I've ever read. So much so, that I abandoned the effort realizing that that was not the way to see this film. It was worth the wait.

The Bad Sleep Well, like many Kurosawa efforts, is too long, but it is quite good telling the story of a man (Toshiro Mifune) determined to bring down corrupt bureaucrats and corporate bosses for reasons that aren't spelled out initially.

It's always interesting to see a Kurosawa film that is set in the time in which it was released, and The Bad Sleep Well is a good example of a non-period piece from him, even if it's not quite up to the level of something truly great such as Ikiru.

It wouldn't be fair to delve too much into the story for those who may want to see it eventually, but then this film aspires to being much more than just a simple revenge tale, exploring various issues of guilt, justice and the risk of becoming what you hate in the single-minded pursuit of vengeance.

The Criterion print presents the film in crisp, clear images, showing some of Kurosawa's best technical work and cinematography. It also contains a 30-minute documentary from a Japanese series exclusively on the making of The Bad Sleep Well that provides some great insights on how Kurosawa worked from many of the actors and craftspeople who worked on the film.

Labels: , , ,

I like almost all of it, but the ending was too much of a tearjerker for my taste.

But that moment when Mifune stuck someone's head outside the window--wasn't that terrific stuff? Hanging from a great height is frightening enough, but hanging from a great height in utter darkness (Kurosawa adds the sound of traffic roaring far below), that must have been terrifying.
I just watched this today. I loved it! The ending really shocked me.

Mifune was incredible.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Follow edcopeland on Twitter

 Subscribe in a reader