Saturday, November 4, 2017

Red Beard

A doctor (Yuzo Kayama), having just graduated medical school in Tokyo, honing the latest in 19th Century medicine, and hoping for a prestigious post, is mortified when he receives an assignment in an impoverished Tokyo district's public clinic run by a gruff but compassionate doctor (Toshiro Mifune) known as Red Beard. Humanist, measured, and episodic Kurosawa work features characteristically beautiful and shadowy cinematography and the last collaboration between Mifune and the director, the actor portraying a very different sort of role but still embodying a powerful presence. Kayama is excellent as the young doctor and Terumi Niki is heartrending as one of his troubled young patients.
*** 1/2 out of ****