Once we accept that we live in a world of violence, our obligation is to stop its spread. An exemplary procedural that takes an honest look at postwar Japan's maelstrom of economic turmoil. Not to take anything away from Takashi Nomura, but this is the film that should have been titled A Colt Is My Passport. My favorite sequence is when Kurosawa just decides to take a break from the mystery to film a baseball game.
The precursor to the buddy cop genre that would be popularised in the 80's. You have to love Mifune early intensity, his deep regret and his reckless sense of justice that's balanced out nicely with Shimura's experienced coolness to handle the situation within prewar Japan's intense heat wave where are ration card can buy a firearm and can make you an insane dog that walks a straight line to take what you desire.
When the younger cop, Detective Murakami, tells Detective Satō that he empathizes with the man they're pursuing and Satō replies that the only way to be a good cop is to not psychoanalyze and just move forward with your catching criminals... Kurosawa gets it.
Kurosawa deals brilliantly with an American occupied Japan here, artfully navigating issues which could not be directly addressed on screen. Also, what a great use of the Dostoyevskian double motif to explore the possibilities of both failure and redemption in a devastated society. Moving
Similarly to a movie that was shot 17 years later - Oshima's "Violence at noon" - Kurosawa wants to depict the emotional and moral breakdown that some people suffered from following to WWII and its end. Mifune's detective is vivid - as much as Shimura's character is well controlled and magnetic - and the only difference between him and the main antagonist is in how they reacted to challenges. Visual movement is key.
Title credits appear over a close-up of a dog -the image is going to bite you!- that announces an aggressive style more in line with Fuller, Aldrich, Siegel, etc. than with the moody American Noir of the 40s. It's all about post-war anxiety and the complex array of ethical choices that go with it. Lots of panting in the film.
Un film policier mais surtout politique qui traite de la relation personnelle entre un inspecteur de police et un tueur. Cette relation lie la culpabilité du policier (qui a perdu son arme devenant ainsi l'arme des meurtres) à la pauvreté du tueur dans l'univers de la société nippone d'après-guerre. De grands moments de cinéma, de très belles scènes.
it's like thunder and lightning: you barely able to see the clear line between right and wrong (a policeman that just hates feeling guilty doesn't mean he's a virtuous person), yet you still can hear and feel the clashes between all things (traditional vs. modern, rich vs. poor). Plus one star for the song, Gesang's Bengawan Solo.
Nice little crime thriller, despite the moralizing and the over-explanations. It's really Takashi Shimura's film, because his performance is well balanced, despite the stupid things the scriptwriters make him say. "Bad guys are bad." Mifune only really finds his stride in his next Kurosawa film Rashomon.
3-4. This feels more and more like a Kurosawa film the deeper you get into it. A young cop and his veteran companion trace the path of a criminal bitten by the consequences of war, gradually illuminating the young cop's redemptive quality by contrast. The idiosyncratic angle here seems to be that the young cop will eventually find a sort of peace when crime loses its distinction for him. A rather interesting film.
Another good example of why most cops shouldn't be carrying guns: they get stolen, usually through negligence. Several hundred guns were stolen from S.F. Bay Area cops in the last few years, including M-16 assault rifles. U.C. Berkeley Police Chief left her gun visible in her personal car when it got stolen. Oakland P.D. won't even say how many of their guns are missing. Gun control should start with cops.