The Idiot details
|Starring:||Setsuko Hara, Toshiro Mifune, Masayuki Mori, Yoshiko Kuga|
|Genres:||Drama, World Cinema|
|Run time:||2 hours 47 minutes|
|Rental release:||14 Nov 2004|
Most helpful review
Flawed but remarkableBy NorwichTim (26 reviews) from UK , 13 Jan 2006
[Highly rated reviewer]The extra features inform us that Kurosawa's original (over five hours) was cut to about half the size by the studio in the space of a week. This results in some very uneven pacing, and major events are simply reported by a narrator. The original would have been hard to watch in a single sitting, but perhaps truer to Dostoevskii's plot and psychological sweep.
Despite these big problems, the film is powerful, with some remarkable visual images as one would expect from Kurosawa and excellent acting in the three main roles. Mifune in particular plays with an intensity that matches the Rogozhin I imagine in the novel.
Another interest for those familiar with Dostoevskii is the way Kurosawa translates a Christian, apocalyptic and national-specific idea into a Japanese setting and secular, humanist vision.
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Terrible renditionBy galleryann (16 reviews) from Hampstead , 08 Nov 2012
[Highly rated reviewer]For those who have not read Dostoyevsky's book - dont allow this terrible rendition to put you off. And likewise for the remarkable Kurasawa - if you have not seen any of his later films, please do.
Emotional tour de forceBy a customer , 23 Dec 2011Just shows what a remarkable director Kurosawa is, this film is heartfelt and a emotionally evocative piece of creative work, which is wonderfully directed and adapted for the screen. A great work reflecting the deep seeded social norms and misconception of views which are within individuals and society as a whole. A tale of paranoia where individuals who don't really understand each other and are lost.
Long slow and formal, but not without charmBy Gavinder (20 reviews) from London , 28 Sep 2011This is a very slow film, but its emotional intensity makes it worth watching, and the actors make the most of their very formal roles.
There are a few bonus things to watch out for: street scenes of Japan in the 1950's bring you back to a different time and the winter back drop makes this the ideal film to watch on a cold winter's day, but it is the music that here and there is very touching.
The only Kurosawa film I haven't enjoyedBy brokenking (268 reviews) from Bristol , 11 Oct 2010I don't the story of 'The Idiot' and I'm more aware of it now but I don't feel more inclined to seek out the novel. This is a very long, slow character piece, which is fine but is was a daunting prospect given the film is nearly three hours (I resolved to finally watch it after I realised I had had the film for two months and still not started watching it). My main problem was taht the main character is such a restrained/damaged person its hard to stay with him for the film's duration. My opinion is you should watch in the two parts it is presented in. Then you might be able to enjoy it more than I did.
Kurosawa tackles DostoevskyBy a customer from Lewes , 28 Dec 2008Kurosawa faced quite a daunting task in bringing Dostoevsky's great novel to the screen: how to convey the psychological complexity of the the characters, especially given the difference in the Russian and Japanese temperaments. His original version apparently ran 4 1/2 hours and was very faithful to the novel, but the studio took fright and what we have is a truncated version which might be more aptly entitled 'Scenes from 'The Idiot''. Set in post-war Japan in a very snowy Hokkaido (even including some footage - not very relevantly - of the Ice Festival) the major 'scandal' and confrontation scenes of the novel are given an awesome intensity thanks to impressive performances by Satsuko Hari as Taeko (Nastasya Filippovna) and a splendidly smouldering young Toshiro Mifune as Akama (Rogozhin). Kurosawa's framing and composition is immaculate, if a trifle studied at times. The ending is rather weak, but one is nevertheless conscious of having viewd the work of a cinematic master.