Dersu Uzala (1975)
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as Dersu Uzala
as Capt. Vladimir Arseniev
as Jan Bao
as Mrs. Arseniev
as Jan Bao
Critic Reviews for Dersu Uzala
The episodes in this second part go on endlessly, loosely, obviously. They lack the revelations of the winter scenes and they do little but belabor at length the points already made. They wreck the film's balance and make its achievements dull.
a gorgeous looking and highly affecting adventure
It's sweetly told and heartwarming, much like a Disney film, but not demanding much of the viewer.
To Arseniev, Dersu embodies something civilized men have lost Neither can really understand the other which is precisely what makes their friendship so special.
Every frame of Dersu Uzala is simply beautiful to look at. . . . Kurosawa's 140-minute masterpiece is a . . . quietly captivating experience.
Kurosawa's Russian epic is breathtakinging ambitious, if a bit didactic.
Audience Reviews for Dersu Uzala
This is a good film about an endearing friendship. The captain and Dersu are both likable, and the film hosts some impressive visuals. All in all, good Kurosawa. I would put this on the high side of the 4 rating. It's a film that I think may gain even more affection upon rewatches.
Simple but powerful. Captain Arseniev is looking for a grave on a construction site in 1910. Flashback to 1902 when he and a group of soldiers are on a mission to map out the wilderness between Russia and China. The soldiers are a rowdy bunch. A hunter comes upon the soldiers speaking kind of broken Russian. The Captain welcomes him and offers him food. Thus begins the friendship of the Capitan and Dersu Uzala. Dersu is Gonli, or Mongolian. He has lost his family and lives in the woods moving from temporary shelter to shelter. The soldiers come to respect Dersu's tracking skills, his concern for all the "men" who live in the forest, and his skill with a rifle. The Capitan especially gains great admiration for Dersu's survival skills and spirituality. The wind, water, fire, sun, moon, plants, and animals are all "men" deserving of the same respect and concern as human men of whatever race. Through the seasons, two expeditions with different sets of men, and obstacles like getting lost on a frozen tundra, being washed down rapids, and facing a tiger the bond between the Capitan and Dersu is strengthened. Dersu has a beautiful understanding of the environment and also a joyful sense of humor. There are lots of wise quotes. The plot is slowly paced, but keeps a good steady rhythm. The images of nature through all the seasons are often breathtaking. Dersu is much older than the Capitan. He has so much knowledge, but when his eyesight begins to go what is a hunter supposed to do? The third act has Captain Arseniev with his wife and son welcoming Dersu to his house in the city. For a man who has lived his whole life in the hills the city is too constricting despite the still close bond between the two men. Kurosawa realistically immerses the audience in the story's time and place, but more importantly develops this magnificent friendship.
the ultimate man vs. wild. bear grills has nothing on dersu uzala. another of the many absolute masterpieces by kurosawa, this film is possibly the best man vs. nature film ever made. tragedy makes the man that becomes so great that the world will no longer accept him. amazing on every front.
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