The Idiot


Drama / Romance

IMDb Rating 7.2 10 5206

jealousy love triangle snow blizzard post war japan

Please enable your VPN when downloading torrents

Get Hide VPN

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN
November 15, 2022 at 07:49 PM


Top cast

Toshirô Mifune as Denkichi Akama
1.5 GB
Japanese 2.0
29.97 fps
2 hr 46 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by yippeiokiyay 10 / 10

Dark, Disturbing, Haunting and Beautiful

One of Kurosawa's least-seen films is "The Idiot". The film is set in Hokkaido, the northernmost area of Japan. Deep snow covers the earth, and is shoveled into barriers, seeps in through the ruins of a warehouse in great drifts, piles up against the windows in crescents, howls fiercely as Toshiro Mifune's character and Matsayuki Mori's "Prince Myishkin" step foot off a train into a blizzard.

Dostoevsky's great novel is the resource material.The Prince Myishkin character is Christ-like in the novel, and, as transplanted to Japan may be seen as a Boddhisatva-like character (an Avalokiteshvara or Kanon-a saint of compassion). Matsayuki Mori does an amazing job of portraying a damaged but compassionate that feels deeply the pain of those he encounters, and who speaks the truth simply, with a pure heart and an awareness of suffering. In one scene, he holds Toshiro Mifune's face between his small, gentle hands, and there is such a tender sensibility, his hands seem to communicate love and absorb the pain of Mifune's character. It is a breathtaking moment.

Toshiro Mifune is brilliantly cast as the thuggish suitor who vies with Mori for the soul of the beautiful and doomed Taeko Nasu character played with uncharacteristic drama by Setsuko Hara.

This complex, rich, layered, frightening, deeply disturbing film has been under-appreciated from the outset-beginning with the studio, which cut the film drastically (Kurosawa was outraged! *see trivia). Japanese audiences didn't understand or like the film, and other audiences have found it weird. Some of this relates directly to Donald Richie's seminal work on Kurosawa and his conclusion that "The Idiot" was a failure. Unfortunately, Richie's conclusion seems to have put replaced the nails in "The Idiot's" coffin with screws. It's very hard to pry open the film.

Sure, it is a weird film...that's what is so interesting. Kurosawa has made one of the most powerfully strange films, while stretching the range of his actors (have you ever imagined you would see Setsuko Hara like this? She's terrifying in her desperation and pain!) giving the scenes a grounded reality, and allowing us to enter into the lives of these tragic, doomed souls.

This is one of the finest films of world cinema, although one of the least-viewed.

Reviewed by kerpan 10 / 10

Fragmentary masterpiece

Currently clocking in at a mere 2.75 hours -- following the lopping off of 100 minutes from Kurosawa's (unreleased) original version -- this barely scratches the surface of the plot of Dostoevsky's tremendous novel. Kurosawa modernizes the story and moves it from Russia in summer to Hokkaido in winter. The great Russian director Grigori Kozintsev thought this film captured the spirit of the novel remarkably well -- and who am I to disagree. I seriously wonder whether someone unfamiliar with the novel could follow this film, in its currently disjointed state -- but for those who know and love Dostoevsky's story (and characters), this film is a delight and a revelation. By and large, the actors do a remarkable job of capturing the essence of Dostoevsky's cast. I simply cannot imagine a more suitable Rogozhin (Akama in the film) than Toshiro Mifune -- especially when watching him "merely" standing in the background looking like a bomb ready to explode. Next most convincing was Chieko Higashiyama as Satoko, Ayako's mother not Takeko's as IMDB incorrectly records (Elizaveta Prokofyevna Yepanchin in the novel). This "Edith Bunker as Russian noblewoman" character has always been one of my favorite Dostoevsky creations -- and CH gets every aspect of the character right. Setsuko Hara as Taeko (Natalia Fillipovna) and Yoshiko Kuga as Ayako (Aglaya Ivanovna) are wonderful, as is Takashi Shimura as Ono, Ayako's father (General Yepanchin). Masayuki Mori as Kameda (Prince Myshkin, the eponymous hero of the tale) is hard to assess -- as the "idiot" role is hard to envision. I am not certain that he is the perfect Myshkin, but he is certainly a touching one.

Interlinked with the extraordinarily fine acting, is Kurosawa's tremendous direction here (or what's left of it). I recently also saw an otherwise fine Russian version of "Crime and Punishment", which failed to capture the richness of tone of the novel, missing every trace of any sort of humor (an essential element of the book). Kurosawa, on the other hand, managed to ricochet from melodrama to humor to tragedy without missing a beat -- sometimes within the bounds of a single shot. Frankly, I never would have thought this possible. Another interesting facet of the direction here -- this often looked more like a silent film from the 20s or 30s than a film of the 50s.

Reviewed by ElMaruecan82 8 / 10

The Unbearable Heaviness of Being (Good)...

"To be or not to be, that's the question."

And that's the central question that encompasses many aspects of film-making. We gather that it's all about what is and what is not, what seems and what reality is, if it can be taken for granted... but that the iconic question was raised by the appearance of a spectrum speaks another truth about cinema: it's about death as much as it's about life.

It's about death in the sense that we're watching a present that is no more and the older a film gets, the fuller of ghosts the screen is. It's also about death because fiction isn't reality in the first place. We learn about life through a ghostly present called fiction, or a living death in motion, that's the first truth. And like life, "The Idiot" opens with a scream, a seminal scream tracing the invisible frontier between life and death. It's upon that screaming truth that "The Idiot" opens in an overcrowded train where passengers are sleeping.

Kameda (Masayuki Mori) shares with Akama (Toshiro Mifune) the nightmare he just had, a dream-like flashback of the execution from which he barely escaped. After that episode where he literally saw the ghost of death coming to seize him, he made a tacit pact with destiny: anything carrying life would be instantly precious, from the dog he threw stones at as a kid to any human being, everyone was worthy of his goodness. But because of the shell shock and the war-trauma, Kameda spent time in an asylum, and his dementia was translated into an uglier word: idiot, a verbal leitmotif with the same resonance as 'stupid' in "Forrest Gump".

Kurosawa adapted Dostoyevsky's famous novel changing its Imperial Russian setting to post-war Japan. He was perhaps one of his biggest fans, considering him the most truthful author when it came to paint humanity. And indeed, you can see another truth in Kameda's behavior: he's a good person, not candid or naïve, but good because he learned to fear death, it's the awareness of his mortality that forged his goodness. Goodness is at the core of being human, because what defines our condition is death and what should define it is being good. This good/dead duality turns Makeda into a zombie-figure, a ghost sleepwalking among humans.

Normal people are too stubbornly attached to life to realize that they miss its very point. And it's only until they look at themselves through Kameda's eyes, played with quiet intensity by Mori that they're too disarmed to toy with feelings. I never really liked staring at people in the eyes because I found it like obscenely undressing them. And it's true that the titular idiot while not doing anything except reading, speaking or being present, allow these people to unmask their real selves. In a way, he is like a living metaphor of the camera, the threshold between the living and the seeming, a trigger to people's honesty.

I mentioned Forrest Gump, but the idiot can be also compared to Peter Sellers in "Being There" where his candidness was mistaken for profundity. In the case of Kameda, there is a genuine perceptiveness in his eyes, capable to see beyond the barriers of reputation or social bearings, but that capability backfires at him because you just can't idealize everyone without hurting some. Kurosawa's movies have always been about people who could 'look' but being a passive observer was only one step before action, there was no meaningless look. In "The Idiot", looking is active by essence and meaningful by necessity, not just for the observer.

Indeed, it all starts with Akama showing a picture of Taeko (Setsuko Hara) a woman he's literally buying from a "benefactor" who's literally auctioning her, Kayama played by the baby-faced Minoru Chiaki is also interested to buy her for a lesser dowry. When Kameda sees the picture of Taeko, it's not just love but truth at first sight, he can't see the whole thing, until a birthday party where he reveals with a sharp candor the amount of humanity he can read in Taeko, connecting it to the same fearful look he saw in a man who was executed. Taeko is so fascinated by the man she asks him if she should marry Kayama.

Later in the film, the triangular love has evolved, the rivalry isn't between Akama and Makeda but between Taeko and Ayako (Yoshiko Kuga) the daughter of Kameda's host played by Takashi Shimura. The two women love the same man, a situation that is likely to have two collateral damages and speaks another truth about life: the intentions no matter how good they are carry inevitable bad effects and vice versa. And Makeda's ambiguous relationship with Akama (Mifune has rarely been as intense... and sexy) reminds of their previous confrontation in "Rashomon", two men with two versions of the same story, each one living in his own fantasy or dream-like vision of life, each one driven mad because of truth.

Dreams or alternate realities are often present in Kurosawa's oeuvre, maybe to better preserve us from the painful truth as if goodness was too unbearable. The film is set in a cold wintery town, covered by snow, where people are too struck by coldness to act naturally, or during a carnival or a fancy reception where everyone plays a role and only one person stays the same, the man without a personality, a persona, a mask. He's the man who affect personalities, allowing them to transcend their condition, encouraging a woman with a reputation to emancipate herself, a crook to apologize and the weakly Mayaka to renounce money.

Every scene is staged with an opposition between passive liveliness and active inertia, reminding of that transcendent power of the camera, a frontier between life and death, dream and reality. The film speaks so many truths (a word I used a lot) maybe at the risk of being overlong, but it carries an irresistible poetry of its own.

Read more IMDb reviews

No comments yet

Be the first to leave a comment