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Scandal (Shubun) Reviews

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June 28, 2014
Strange movie. You think the movie is going to be about the artist and the singer, but it gradually becomes more about the lawyer. The sick daughter felt too much like a crutch for the movie.
June 20, 2014
Not a bad film by any means, but a relative waste of Mifune's talent in a pretty tame and formulaic script. An early and minor stumble for Kurosawa. Of course if it was anyone else's film we would probably say it was great!
March 27, 2014
First of all it's hard for me to rate this properly as the subtitles on the DVD I watched were extremely poor and I had a hard time following dialogue (and many signs were left untranslated). I think I got basically the whole plot though, and I felt like it started strong but a lot of the interesting characters end up being pushed to the side in favour of the fairly insipid courtroom/bribery drama. Kurosawa doesn't seem to realise that the ethical questions he raises about privacy are much more interesting than who wins in court.
May 5, 2013
One of the best performances ever is given by Takashi Shimura.
December 23, 2012
Being a perfectly consistent and downright expressive man, Akira Kurosawa knew how to approach every fresh topic, no matter how controversial. He had this innate ability that allowed him to transform, with unmistakable ease, each and every one of those topics into impressive and captivating motion pictures. Scandal (Shûbun) is his darkly satirical effort to unveil the gradual deterioration of the Japanese press industry. Through a somehow unsurprising and bitterly pretentious â" yet informative and intense â" drama Kurosawa attempted to criticize all the immoral actions of reporters in post-war Japan. For the sake of sensationalism, the private lives of not only celebrities, but even some of the lesser-known citizens, were suddenly deemed invaluable. It seemed as though to catch the attention of the readers is to forget about a human moral code. Writing a story, which might not even be true, was totally all right, and even hurting other peopleâ(TM)s feelings was on the agenda. Ironically so, all those wrongdoings remain unchanged up to this day in most places in the world.

Scandal proves to be a considerable visualization of a celebrityâ(TM)s worst nightmare. Coincidentally, a well-known beautiful singer Miyako Saijo (Shirley Yamaguchi) meets an aspiring painter Ichiro Aoye (Toshiro Mifune) while heâ(TM)s working on a new painting in the countryside. Moments later, Ichiro offers Miyako a lift on his bike, since they both stay at the same inn. Unfortunately, they are tracked down by a group of paparazzi looking for an exciting story to publish in their tabloid magazine Amour. One random picture and a cover story that insinuates an ongoing romance between the two artists change the pace of the film dramatically. In just a short period of time Ichiro and Miyako become the objects of interest of almost the whole nation (a silly exaggeration, though a efficacious one). To prove them all wrong, irritated Ichiro quickly decides to sue for damages, and in order to do so he hires a clumsy, welcoming, yet secretly perfidious lawyer Hiruta (Takashi Shimura). Though Hiruta convinces Ichiro that he shares his hatred towards the press and its shameful actions, he actually goes behind his clientâ(TM)s back and decides to throw the trial, in order to get some money for his sick daughter Masako (Yoko Katsuragi). Whatâ(TM)s surprising is that even though Ichiro is aware of the position of his disloyal lawyer, he still believes that he will come to his senses and choose the right way. For the sake of sheer entertainment and for Kurosawaâ(TM)s own sense of fulfillment, Hiruta goes through an enlightening transformation and brings about the most satisfying twist in action.

Even though Mifune, with all his suave and charm, comes as the most prominent actor of the movie, itâ(TM)s really worth to mention Yoko Katsaguriâ(TM)s performance. Her character, though bound to bed through the whole movie, is the brightest star of the whole showcase. With her purity, kindness, and plausible sense of judgment she is the source of all-energy and immediately becomes, even in her fragile state, the guardian angel seeking a happy ending.

In the ever-changing media reality people are only looking out for themselves, and that is, in the subtlest sense, a cause of the gradual downfall of humanity as such. People tend to care about material things in the first place; they need to suppress their urges through the misfortune of others. And press â" with all its power and attention â" creates this deeply superficial world, as we now know it. Scandal, the title of this picture, corresponds not only to the sensations that surround the fictitious love affair, but also to the behavior (though unnecessarily biased) of all the characters connected to the newspaper industry.
October 24, 2012
Great movie that's even more relevant today than it was when it was released! Nice to see Mifune in a somewhat different role than we're used to seeing, especially in a Kurosawa pic, and of course he knocks it out of the park.
Just a really well told, well made story. Highly under-appreciated in the Kurosawa lexicon.
April 13, 2012
Its not great... but it is still a Kurosawa film, therefore it is good and watchable.
Chris B

Super Reviewer

June 9, 2011
While this isn't top-tier Kurosawa, even his lesser works are solid films full of his talent and the actors that he would make famous! The film features solid performances from both Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura and both fill out their characters nicely. "Scandal" tends to get near and in many cases reaches melodramatic at times but the film has a lot of heart to match it's offbeat comedy and solidly acted screenplay. Any Kurosawa is fine by me and this is no exception!

Super Reviewer

November 10, 2011
The funniest of Kurosawa's films. Takashi Shimura gives some great comic moments which bring a lot of laughter for his character and a lot of compassion as well because it reveals that he is indeed a good person who has succumbed to temptation. Toshiro Mifune gives a fierce performance as a honest and determined artist who tries to bring the corrupt executive and prying eyes of his newspaper company to justice. Well made film about the responsibility of the media that pits the two issues of privacy of individuals versus freedom of the press. An evermore relevant question in today's society where there is an even bigger craze for celebrity gossip. It's flaw is that it is too sentimental, at times predictable, and in the end perhaps formulaic; however it will always be worth the watch for Shimura's very funny performance.
September 24, 2010
A bit disappointing, but still quite good. Although a lot of the flourishes are inimitably Kurosawa, the story itself feels very given to American cliches and constructs. Takashi Shimura is really what makes the film work - he's great in what turns out to be the central role. I think a lack of clarity in the first act really dampens what could have been a more significant film.
August 11, 2010
While I can appreciate the exploration of the flexible morals here, I was never fully engaged by this one, for whatever reason. Not saying that it was a bad film (far from it), I just never found myself truly sympathetic to the characters involved, particularly the weak, whiny lawyer representing the slandered parties.

Worth a look, maybe you'll get more out of it than I did.
March 16, 2010
good stuff holds up well

Super Reviewer

March 2, 2009
[font=Century Gothic]In "Scandal," Miyako Saijo(Yoshiko Yamaguchi), a famous singer, blissfully sings while climbing a hill until she realizes she is not alone. Ichiro Aoye(Toshiro Mifune) is painting nearby Mount Kumitori while being surrounded by a group of admirers. Since she missed her bus, he gentlemanly offers her a ride on his motorcycle to a nearby resort where there are paparazzi waiting in ambush. Being a very private person, she does not wish her picture taken. However, they still get a shot of her and Ichiro which is plastered all over Tokyo in a tabloid, intimating that the two are having an affair. Ichiro confronts the publisher Hori(Eitaro Ozawa), threatens a lawsuit and even slugs him.(Even though I'm a pacifist, I think he had it coming.) Hiruta(Takashi Shimura), a lawyer, drops by Ichiro's studio to offer his services.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]"Scandal" is a solid movie that has lost none of its punch over the decades, even if a couple of the scenes are overplayed and go on too long. Regrettably, celebrity journalism is still with us to rob celebrities of any kind of privacy. In this movie, Miyako and Ichiro are the protaganists whose creation of art is respected which Hori does not. He is just trying to sell magazines by whatever means necessary, even if lives are wrecked in the bargain. Somewhere in the middle is Hiruta who is badly in need of redemption.[/font]
January 21, 2009
Un des films moins connus de K., fait avant sa série de chef-d'oeuvres mais contenant le germe du génie en développement. Une critique virulente de l'américanisation des médias japonais après la seconde guerre.

Un Toshiro Mifune en grande forme, mais pas aussi brillant qu'à l'habitude. On peut également reprocher au film un manque de nuances dans la psychologie des personnages, soit absolument parfaits ou complètement dégueulasses.

Kurosawa arrive quand même à réaliser un film prenant, qui gagne en profondeur dans la seconde partie qui se transforme en une sorte d'étude des notions de couardise et d'honneur dans la société japonaise. Peut-être pas un grand film selon les standards de Kurosawa, mais tout de même très bien.
December 12, 2008
Easily Kurosawa's weaker films but one of his most intriguing where it concerns characters. I thought overall that this fascination with the tabloids was intriguing as lots of films that talk on tabloid seem to go for that time period and the scene in the courtroom was pure genius, it resembles the audience, our utmost desire to see a character fall and to see drama and to see tragedy and to be surprised at the end, be it redemption or further misery.
July 21, 2008
Pretty good, Mifune is really handsome! Touches up on an issue that still applies today, the tabloids and media!

Super Reviewer

May 25, 2008
a solid film with great acting and diologue, even if the plot was a little silly. there is a sense where the plot is very good as it points out the abuses and hypocracy of the media, but at the same time the film didnt really carry any significance in the bigger picture of humanity which is rare for a kurosawa film. still, this story had some profound elements, especially the internal moral struggle of shimura's character and the impact that his dying daughter had on him. written and shot well and entertaining to watch.
May 27, 2008
A decent precursor to the far superior Ikiru.

Super Reviewer

April 26, 2008
Another of Kurosawa's early films, it features his usual morality message this time aimed at the media. A free-spirited artist and a famous singer are photographed together by the paparazzi who fabricate a scandalous affair to sell their paper. It's basically an attack on the gutter press and it's insistence on invading the privacy of the famous to pander to the public's base fascination with celebrity gossip. Being an early example of his work, he hasn't quite honed his skills and a little too often the story veers into sentimentality and melodrama, particularly towards the end. It does have a nice light touch early on in the film though, tempering the more saccharine soaked moments with gentle humour and Toshiro Mifune and Yoshiko Yamaguchi make a couple to rival the glamour of their Hollywood counterparts. Not a major work, but still eminently watchable with a theme that's clearly as relevant today as it was then.
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