The Idiot

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Kurosawa's adaptation from his favourite novelist Dostoevsky has an undeserved reputation as a failure. True, it has a plot which is at first extremely difficult to follow if you don't know the novel, but its literal faithfulness (transferred from St Petersburg to modern Hokkaido) hardly deserves rebuke. The acting has an eerie, trance-like quality; and the perpetually snowbound sets and locations, warmed by scarcely adequate fires and bulky clothing, together with a continually turbulent music soundtrack, make up the perfect expressionist metaphor for the emotional lives of Dostoievsky's characters. Tom Milne has noted similarities to Dreyer's Gertrud; like that film, it repays the initial effort required to get into it.

By: RM

Release details

Duration: 165 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Screenwriter: Eijiro Hisaita, Akira Kurosawa
Cast: Masayuki Mori
Toshiro Mifune
Setsuko Hara
Takashi Shimura
Yoshiko Kuga
Chieko Higashiyama
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