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The Idiot

The Idiot
Movie: The Idiot(1951)[tt0043614] Kameda, who has been in an asylum on Okinawa, travels to Hokkaido. There he becomes involved with two women, Taeko and Ayako. Taeko comes to love Kameda, but is loved in turn by Akama. When Akama realizes that he will never have Taeko, his thoughts turn to murder, and great tragedy ensues. Written byJim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>
Title The Idiot
Release Date 23 May 1951 (Japan)
Runtime
Genres Drama, Romance
Production Companies Shochiku
Setsuko Hara
Setsuko Hara...
Taeko Nasu...
Masayuki Mori
Masayuki Mori...
Kinji Kameda...
Toshirô Mifune
Toshirô Mifune...
Denkichi Akama...
Yoshiko Kuga
Yoshiko Kuga...
Ayako...
Takashi Shimura
Takashi Shimura...
Ono, Ayako's father...
Chieko Higashiyama
Chieko Higashiyama...
Satoko, Ayako's mother...
Eijirô Yanagi
Eijirô Yanagi...
Tohata...
Minoru Chiaki
Minoru Chiaki...
Mutsuo Kayama, the secret...
Kokuten Kôdô
Kokuten Kôdô...
Jumpei...
Bokuzen Hidari
Bokuzen Hidari...
Karube...
Eiko Miyoshi
Eiko Miyoshi...
Madame Kayama...

Reviews

crossbow0106 on 1 October 2011
Before watching this film, I read the 700 page novel. Obviously, Mr. Kurosawa had to omit characters and even chapters, but he has made a coherent, wonderful and even a little disturbing film about obsession. Kameda (Masayuli Mori) is given a reprieve from being shot by the Americans in Okinawa post war (a good context to begin this film, the book is set in Russia in the 1850's) and goes to relatives in Hokkaido. He sees a portrait of Taeko Nasu (Ms. Hara) and is just struck by it. He meets her and though she was about to give her answer to one man regarding marriage, she asks Kameda, a veritable stranger whom she feels knows her, to make the decision and he says no. She runs off with Akama (Mr. Mifune) and Kameda follows. Also in the mix is the young, very pretty Ayako (Yoshiko Kuga), who may instead be be throed to Kameda. The choices have to be made, but bear in mind Kameda is still beguiled by Taeko. The acting, with many actors you've seen before or since in films of the period from Japan, are all uniformly good, but no one holds a torch to Setsuko Hara's Taeko. Her role is all about expressions and emotions, and she is absolutely perfect. You see her anguish, her foreboding, her sarcasm in every scene. The beautiful Ms. Hara is just amazing in this role, as she was in so many others. If you are ambitious, read the book first and you'll see what a great job Mr. Kurosawa did in adapting and directing this film. Without reading the book, I don't think you'll like it as much but it will definitely hold your interest. Lastly, the term "The Idiot" is more about Kameda having fits (somewhat like epilepsy), not being weak of mind. One of Kurosawa's best, Setsuko Hara is phenomenal and it is an excellent adaptation to the classic novel.

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