Hit in the Gut
“Ikiru” is just one those old movies those looks old and plays old. The first appearance of the grainy black and white frame gave me the chills. No, this isn’t a horror film although it shows a protagonist marching throughout the movie with a horrified look. This is the story of an old man (Takashi Shimura) who learns he has few months to live due to stomach cancer. This gut-wrenching news forces him to reevaluate his life and concludes that he has barely accomplished anything.
I rented this because of its director Akira Kurosawa. He is the genius behind the fascinating multilayered story of “Rashomon.” I recognize the creativity and intelligence that went into “Ikiru.” It might have been novel at the time, but it so cliché now. Its themes of celebrating life can be found in more recent and accessible films. (“The Barbarian Invasions” and “American Beauty” are fine examples). Therefore, I consider this somewhat a waste of 2 ½ hours. For better or worse, I realize such spent time makes life feels even shorter and more precious.