The Bad sleep well

The Bad sleep well

DVD - 2006 | Japanese
Average Rating:
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A young executive looks for his father's killers, marries the daughter of one of them and begins to fall in love with her.
Publisher: [New York] : Criterion Collection, [2006]
ISBN: 9780780030084
0780030087
Branch Call Number: DVD Drama / Bad 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (150 min.) :,sd., b&w ;,12 cm., in container +,1 booklet

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PeterRLD
Aug 01, 2016

I enjoy classic Japanese films, especially featuring samurai whacking away at each other with fine Japannese swords. The Bad Sleep Well, however, is set in modern postwar Japan and involves corporate intrigue, which I wasn't sure was going to be my cup of tea. The story involves a circle of powerful men at the head of a corporation which seems to be an arm of the Japanese government. They are busy enriching themselves at the expense of the public by rigging bids and taking kickbacks. Their employees are either content to be be part of a crooked business or unthinkingly loyal to their superiors. Enter the always excellent Toshiro Mifune, who is determined to take down the whole bunch. In the US, this movie would show how one plucky guy with right on his side can take on and defeat the legions of evil while at the same time finding true love with a beautiful woman. Kurosawa's version however is so much more nuanced. Perhaps, as others are suggesting, Kurosawa is creating agitprop to drive the masses to rise up and overthow a corrupt system, but I prefer to focus on his thoughtful examinaton of the complexity of Mifune's motives for violent action and showing how his quest for revenge eats away at his moral compass. In any case, a superb movie that I can't get out of my mind.

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Nursebob
Dec 05, 2014

Akira Kurosawa’s angry film noir not only examines corporate corruption in high places but is also highly critical of the mindless loyalty engendered in Japanese workers; some of whom would willingly kill themselves rather than face the humiliation of testifying against their crooked bosses. When one such man is shamed into committing suicide after he discovers his superiors are up to their eyebrows in a scheme involving rigged government contracts, his enraged son Nishi decides to go deep undercover in order to expose the men responsible. Going so far as to change his identity and marry the boss’ crippled daughter, Yoshiko, in order to gain the old man’s confidence, Nishi uses his meagre inheritance to unleash an ingenious plan aimed at gaining confessions from all concerned. But not even he is prepared for the lengths criminals will go to in order to protect their own—for not only do wicked men sleep peacefully, they have trouble distinguishing the light from the darkness. in the meantime his wholly innocent wife and hot-tempered brother-in-law are having some distressing revelations of their own. Brilliantly scripted and accompanied by a hip jazz score, Kurosawa’s critical eye follows his characters from opulent hotel suites and boardrooms to the desolation of a bombed factory; a crumbling remnant of Japan’s military defeat just fifteen years earlier. As the story progresses however you come to realize that the lines between “good” and “bad” are not so easily drawn, for Nishi’s memories of his father aren’t quite as golden as he would like and his marriage of convenience to the trusting Yoshiko carries within it the same aura of unscrupulousness he’s vowed to expose. Furthermore, in his single-minded zeal to wreak vengeance (and ease some personal guilt) Nishi is only too willing to step outside the law himself. A complex and cynical film whose bleak ending once served as a wake-up call but now, sadly, seems more of a prophecy.

g
geomillar
Apr 29, 2012

This classic film by Japanese master Kurosawa has been remastered. Stay with it and it will keep you riveted until the final frame.

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