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Critic Reviews for Madadayo
A lifetime of moviemaking -- Kurosawa was 83 when he made it -- seems to have pared down his technique to its essentials.
This warm, celebratory and very public film is punctuated by sudden and luminous private visualizations.
This is the kind of film we would all like to make, if we were very old and very serene. There were times when I felt uncannily as if Kurosawa were filming his own graceful decline into the night.
It's not one of Kurosawa's great films; the compass of feeling is, in the end, too narrow, the scope of human reference too restricted. But it is, within its own proportions, nearly perfect.
Kurosawa's swan song is a personal and overly sentimental story of a real-life retired university professor and literary figure.
Audience Reviews for Madadayo
3.5-4. A nice little serene film. Very likable despite its simple, rather eventless plot. I liked it and everything in it is good, but I ultimately did not find it as moving or engaging as 'Rhapsody in August.'
The perfect last film for Kurosawa to make in my mind. The professor never seems to shrink away from living his life despite his age and not really having any solid goals to fulfill in retirement. The main character is absolutely endearing because he never runs out of funny things to say and is amiably eccentric. The film suffers from being a bit overlong, a little too much group singing to transition to different points, and is somewhat sentimentalized at points. These faults that would've made another directors film unbearable are but mere blemishes on this film. The 60th birthday party for the professor is a terrific and fun sequence which shows such great camaraderie between all the students and the professor. The missing cat subplot was hard to get into because it was difficult to relate to the importance of the cat despite the film's attempts to explain the significance of the cat to the professor. The film did succeed in showing that the professor was indeed deeply invested in the cat emotionally. This film is great because it illustrated for me the pleasure in friendship and the importance of allowing yourself to enjoy life without trying to force anything.
Sometimes amusing, often touching story of a retired Japanese professor during WWII, who inspires devotion from his former students. A great metaphor for Kurosawa himself, fittingly his last film as director. Beautifully shot, and the characters feel very real.
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