Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (13)
| Top Critics (3)
| Fresh (10)
| Rotten (3)
| DVD (10)
Kurosawa somehow manages to imbue every moment of this three-hour-plus movie with the transcendent vitality and intelligence of a great Victorian novel.
Akira Kurosawa's Red Beard is assembled with the complexity and depth of a good 19th-century novel, and it is a pleasure, in a time of stylishly fragmented films, to watch a director taking the time to fully develop his characters.
A mature work that merits the term most apply to it: Dostoyevskian.
A banal, discursive and overlong Dr. Kildare-like soap opera, that's no better than General Hospital.
Something for everyone. A masterpiece, and with Kurosawa that's really saying something.
The final collaboration between director Akira Kurosawa and Japanese icon Toshiro Mifune is one of Kurosawa's most ambitious, personal, and heartfelt films.
What saves the Criterion DVD is the commentary by film historian Stephen Prince
A moving illustration that hope and generosity, even in small amounts, will always persevere and make a difference.
Many directors still have never created one film equal to Red Beard, which only pales when compared to Kurosawa's greatest films
A major miss... a protracted retelling of General Hospital in 19th century Japan.
Japanese movie, Japanese actors, Japanese sets and locations, so why does this film feel as if were shot on the Warner Brothers backlot? Yet it does AND like they did it, say, in the late 40's or early 50's. An arrogant young doctor learns humility thanks to charismatic elder sawbones. There's a ton of subplots too, and minor characters, but all in all still engaging.
Akira Kurosawa's three-hour masterpiece follows young doctor Noboru Yasumoto as he is sent to work at a public health facility. He had been trained overseas and was expecting to be the private doctor of the shogun, and so he's unpleasantly surprised when he finds out what his new assignment is. The doctor who he's replacing seems especially cynical: "These people would be better off dead" he says of the empoverished patients. Not only is he cynical when it comes to the patients, he's also cynical of the hospital's overseer, "Red Beard" (Toshiro Mifune). The older doctor paints horror stories for the new young doctor of their boss with the red beard, and Yasumoto tries to get thrown out of his position by rebelling against the hardened Red Beard. Much like the film, Captains Courageous, Yasumoto soon learns his boss isn't really a monster, but a great and kind (if gruff) man, as he's shown how to truly help his fellow man. Red Beard unfolds like a great novel, it takes it's time in giving nuance and depth to the stories of the patients the doctors help. I was wondering how they'd work in a fight scene for Toshiro Mifune, what with him being a respectable doctor and all, but they somehow managed it. Mifune is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors of all time (note, I didnt' quantify it by saing "greatest Japanese actor", his appeal extends beyond national boundaries), and yet here he's probably playing one of his lesser roles (despite being the title character). It's a terrific ensemble cast. Kurosawa directs with his usual flair, but here there are some unique touches that really jump out at the viewer. Most noteably the strange lighting effect used in the scene with the little girl who's rescued from the brothel, as she's recouperating in bed. The way only her eyes are lit creates an eerie, creepy effect. Red Beard is a touching, poignant, comedy, drama, tear-jerker that runs the gamut of emotions. One of the best films ever.
"The pain and loneliness of death frighten me. But Dr. Niide looks at it differently. He looks into their hearts as well as their bodies."
Kurosawa does such a magnificent job of infusing the virtues of decency and humanity into the story that they almost become concrete, tangible characters. The fact that Red Beard is rarely, if ever, listed as one of Akira's cinematic milestones has me a little perplexed. Highly underrated.
An ambitious and arrogant young intern finds himself in a rural clinic for the poor against his wishes, but soon finds there is more to life than wealth and status under the tutelage of a severe but kind-hearted doctor. Red Beard is almost Dickensian. in it's melding of period drama and social commentary, all told with a decidedly left wing slant. The Siu clinic is a fledgling "welfare state", where treatment is free to the needy, and Kurosawa takes great pains to illustrate that a man's worth is not the sum of his material possessions. The film is structured into a series of short stories centering around different patients, each with a tragic event in their past. The finest example is the final story of Ting, a young girl suffering abuse at the hands of a brothel's madam who slowly learns that there are good people in the world, after being rescued in a great scene in which Red Beard ably hands out the injuries he later heals! It's VERY long and rather short on action compared to his samurai films, but it's also a genuinely touching, heartwarming and good natured tale that is Kurosawa at his most human.
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