The story of a man diagnosed with stomach cancer, Kurosawa's film is a serious contemplation of the nature of existence and the question of how we find meaning in our lives.
Opening with a shot of an x-ray, showing the main character's stomach, Ikiru tells the tale of a dedicated, downtrodden civil servant who, diagnosed with a fatal cancer, learns to change his dull, unfulfilled existence, and suddenly discovers a zest for life.
Plunging first into self-pity, then a bout of hedonistic pleasure-seeking on the frenetic streets of post-war Tokyo, Watanabe - the film's hero - finally finds satisfaction through building a children's playground.
Beautifully played by Takashi Shimura (who starred in 21 of Kurosawa's films), Ikiru is an intensely lyrical and moving film, and was one of Kurosawa's own favourites.
In black & white.
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A sad man finds satisfaction in the end
Mon, 11 May 2015 | Review by: Michael S
My favourite Kurosawa, a sad and wistful story of an ordinary man who, when he discovers he is dying, tries to create meaning in his life by creating a children's playground. Gentle and observant, we learn about the man's hum-drum life, his failed attempts to enjoy his last days, and then his satisfying success in having the park created.
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