Uncut - 01/01/2004
"Takashi Shimura delivers a fine, understated performance..."
Empire - 08/01/2008 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his moving melodrama continued Kurosawa's revolt against narrative linearity....This is a masterpiece of humanist cinema..."
A powerful, thought-provoking drama about a petty bureaucrat who discovers that he is dying of cancer. Coming to the realization that his life has been a meaningless quest for following petty company rules, he tries to create one thing of lasting worth.
In what could be called Akira Kurosawa's It's a Wonderful Life, Takashi Shimura portrays Kanji Watanabe, an isolated, inward city office clerk who discovers he has stomach cancer and little time left on Earth. With a compelling, radical narrative structure, Kurosawa depicts Watanabe's last months and then how his final decisions have affected those left behind. Ikiru is one of the Japanese master's darkest, yet most life-affirming works.